By JESSIE HORTON
TheFlashToday.com NEWS & SPORTS – FREE & LOCAL
ERATH COUNTY (June 10, 2015) — When working with Meals on Wheels Director Whitney Lee to preview the organization’s annual Fun Shoot June 19-20, The Flash learned a few interesting facts and wanted to pass them on. As if we didn’t already know MOW (cause an awesome nickname is important) was great, here are a few fact we bet you didn’t know about them.
• In addition to feeding senior citizens and others who are homebound, MOW’s Lee is working to provide pet food for those service type pets. That’s right, the organization works to help those folks with inside animals (which, according to numerous studies, improve the health and wellness of homebound and sick individuals) the food they need to keep those animals health, too.
“We’ve been doing some research and speaking with our clients as we’ve been working on grants for this project,” Lee said. “And what we’ve found is that those with pets, who can’t always get to town to buy food, or just don’t have the money to, will share their meals with their pets.”
She said that an estimated 45 percent of MOW clients with pets have shared their food at some point or another. Now, with some help from grant funding and donations locally, the program is beginning to take shape.
• All the routes are driven by volunteers from the area. Some are church groups that switch out, some are groups that are paired by MOW to cover a route and then there are a few special volunteers who are solely responsible for a route. Lee said if a route does not have a volunteer to drive it, she or someone else employed by MOW does it, at a cost to the organization.
“We depend on those volunteers, they make this possible, we (MOW) couldn’t afford to drive these routes every day,” she said.
• Many of the Erath County clients don’t have vehicles or rides to vital appointments. MOW provides transportation for their clients who have no other way to the doctor or the pharmacy or to rehab. Money raised through the annual Fun Shoot, along with donations and other funding, goes to continue this program and even, in some cases, expand it.
• In conjunction with the annual Fun Shoot, MOW alway raffles off GUNS. Yep, the organization takes donations and holds a gun raffle at the shoot each year and you don’t even have to be present to win! This year it’s handguns. The three up for grabs are a Glock 22 (40 caliber), a Glock 42 (380 caliber) and a Smith & Wesson E Series 1911 (45 caliber). Tickets are only $10 each or 3 for $20. All you have to do to participate is grab some tickets from any board member or run by their offices during regular business hours.
• Some local seniors aren’t homebound and MOW likes to do something for them, too. Lee said the organization goes into the Dublin and Stephenville Senior Citizens Centers on Tuesdays and Thursday and provides a lunch for any local senior who wants to get out and enjoy some wonderful company and a little food.
• For those residents who can’t get out to the senior center or even the grocery store, MOW has other programs that also help. Lee said she works closely with local food banks and churches in both Dublin and Stephenville to provide Ensure (a nutritional milkshake-type supplement for those not getting everything they need from the meals or who are sick). She said the program is expanding and now includes nonperishable food items for those folks.
• In the 20 years volunteers have been delivering meals in Erath County, they have provided more than 700,000 meals to local residents who might not have otherwise gotten food and would have gone hungry. Lee said she and others involved in the organization are already planning on the next 700,000.
While there are lots of things to learn about Meals on Wheels of Erath County, the excitement continues as Lee and the board of directors continue to work tirelessly to help our residents. There are tons of ways to get involved in MOW of Erath County and Lee and her staff will be glad to introduce you to all of those ways. Contact her at the MOW office (254.965.3510), visit their website (here) or the MOW Facebook page (here).