“We care about you” is more than a catchy phrase we tell our clients. Throughout the day, I struggle for a way to express the genuine care our volunteers, neighbors, communities, and our organization feel towards our recipients.
Five days a week, we prepare and deliver over 600 meals to these individuals. A vast majority live alone, and our drivers are the only daily in-person contact they have. Take a moment and think about how lonely it must be to eat alone every day! In most cases, our clients have been married for 50 or 60 years. I recently spoke to a husband who lost his wife of 69 years. Another client lost both her husband and daughter; she’s a lovely lady in her 90’s!
When I think of our recipients and the conversations I have had with them, often tears come to my eyes. Then in a blink of an eye, I recall the joy, happiness, and gratitude some express after sharing a memory. It makes me smile. Frequently clients share a particularly happy image from decades back refreshed by a meal or dessert we delivered. I see their smiling face in my minds-eye and hear the enthusiasm in their voice as they share that special memory during a call or handwritten note. These are the moments I treasure. It encourages me to create moments of happiness over and over again for each one of our recipients!
The relationships created between our drivers and our recipients, the sharing of daily visits, the special moments, the immediate connection made between two non-related individuals is the demonstration of caring that we can do for each other. This feeling of caring and sharing is what has led me to develop the We Care About You initiative.
We Care About You Initiative
The We Care About You initiative is our way of welcoming our recipients to our Meals on Wheels extended family. Help us to celebrate the special moments in their lives by purchasing items that we can place in their goody bags.
Goody Bags Brighten the Day
Beginning with a Welcome Goody Bag and continuing throughout the year help us defeat isolation and loneliness by celebrating their birthday, anniversary, holiday or Get-Well goody bag, as a way of showing them they are important and that We Care about them!
Please join us in this joy-giving initiative. The easiest way is with an in-kind donation direct from Smile.Amazon.com. Don’t forget to select Westlake Meals on Wheels as your charity. Our Charity lists will display, and you may choose as many items as you would like to purchase. We have three Charity lists from which to select. Recipient Caring, are items clients always appreciate. Volunteer Appreciation is the energy goodies volunteers need to make their deliveries, and Business Essentials are the critical items we need to run the operation. (Covering Business Essentials frees up cash to spend on clients! )
Shopping at smile.amazon.com, offers the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenience as the Amazon.com experience. However, your purchase generates a 0.5% donation from the AmazonSmile Foundation to Westlake Meals on Wheels (or your charity of choice).
If you would like a more direct impact on the life of one of our recipients, you can also Pay It Forward. With Pay-It-Forward you buy a meal for a client. Your donation directly offsets the cost of a meal for someone struggling to pay or reducing meal costs for everyone. Visit www.westlakemealsonwheels.org/pay-it-forward/
Please consider joining us in delivering more than a meal. With your caring and assistance, we can fulfill our mission to combat isolation and loneliness.