For most nonprofit organizations, and for us as well, the kindness and support of a community is often best demonstrated during the holiday season. Although there are thousands of San Angeloans and citizens throughout the Concho Valley who generously give of their time, money, and talents to help charities throughout the year, there is just something about the fall and winter holidays that encourage us all to thoughtfully consider the abundant blessings in our lives and open our hearts to our friends and neighbors who might need a helping hand.
The board and staff of Meals For The Elderly are very thankful for the continuing generosity toward our mission of nourishing our homebound elderly neighbors. Despite a 17.4% increase in the cost of food, your support has enabled us to meet the needs of our isolated, elderly clients so far this year and has allowed us to provide 19% more meals this year than at this point last year.
However, the holiday season is now upon us. As you experience the upcoming holiday seasons of bounty in the land of plenty, please continue to remember those for whom the holiday season is neither bountiful nor plentiful. The autumn and winter seasons, for many of us, evoke sensations of warmth and gratitude as we share meals and time with our families and friends. But for a homebound, elderly individual unable to leave her home, autumn and winter can feel lonely, cold, and empty. She needs help from her community members to be reminded that we have not forgotten her and care about her well-being, demonstrated through the sustenance and friendship made possible by your support.
This fall, we will be doing a number of things to ensure that our homebound clients experience the warmth of the holidays as everyone is meant to – but we will need your help. From mid-November to mid-December, Sunset Mall will be hosting a holiday tree to collect Christmas gifts for our clients, entitled “Seniors Still Believe.” As you are purchasing gifts for friends and family this fall, please consider picking an ornament from our “Seniors Still Believe” tree and providing a gift for an elderly client who may not have friends or family nearby with whom to share Christmas. Items needed will vary depending on each client, but may include things like socks, blankets, and space heaters. Help us bring a little joy to the homes of our homebound neighbors this holiday.
We will also be distributing our annual Emergency Meal Box to each of our 600 clients over the next few weeks. Each box (a shoe box) includes shelf stable food items for approximately two days worth of food. All boxes are decorated by community members and are delivered to clients during the fall so that in the event of inclement weather prohibiting meal delivery, each client will still have some food on hand until we can deliver again. The Emergency Meal Boxes are delivered separately from normal noon lunches, enabling volunteers who can’t typically volunteer during the day to help deliver after hours as long as there is daylight. If you would like to help us with this project, please call Leann, our Volunteer Director at 655-9200.
If you are overcome by holiday spirit and would like to give thanks for the blessings in life, please consider signing up to volunteer a few times this holiday season or making a donation. Volunteers are always needed, as more routes are currently being added to accommodate the increasing number of clients we are serving. We particularly need drivers to deliver meals between 10:30am – 12pm, but can always use help in the office and the kitchen as well. Whether you want to volunteer individually or with a group, we would love to work out a rewarding experience that warms your heart.
If you would like to make a donation this fall to help with our mission, please remember that gifts can be given in honor or memory of someone. By making a gift in someone’s honor or memory, you are sending warm feelings and love to not only our elderly clients, but to your friends and family as well. When shopping for that hard-to-buy-for friend or family member, remember that honorariums always fit the person and your budget.
A number of our clients depend completely on Meals For The Elderly for nourishment, and our meals are the only food they receive. We are vigilant in reducing expenses and operating efficiently to ensure that our clients’ needs will continue to be met. We know the economic climate is still tough this year – for us and for our loyal supporters. However, in order to keep up with the demand this holiday season, we are relying on your continued support.
Every meal we send out costs under $3 to make – and that includes food prices, packaging, equipment, employment, and utility costs. We are able to maintain that meal cost without being a government or United Way agency, which allows us to provide the most we possibly can to our elderly neighbors. That means for every $15 donation we receive, we can provide hot lunches for one elderly client for an entire week. For the price of one meal at a restaurant, someone could eat for a week.
Please remember those who are too frail, ill, and disabled to leave their homes this holiday season. We wish you all health and happiness this holiday season. If you have any questions or would just like to learn more about Meals For The Elderly, please feel free to call us at 655-9200 or visit our website at http://www.MealsForTheElderly.org.