"Meals On Wheels saved my brother's life" - Horizon service more than just meals
That’s what Gwen told me as we discussed this program Horizon provides the community.
It was a wonderful thing to say about Meals on Wheels, a volunteer-driven program that delivers meals to the Milwaukee area’s homebound. Our volunteers are reliable and consistent, showing up each weekday—rain, snow, or shine. They’re also engaging and thoughtful, getting to know each person they serve on their delivery routes.
Our volunteers are so much more than a meal service because Meals on Wheels is not just about the food—it’s about human connection. For some of the folks we serve, their Meals on Wheels volunteer may be the only person they see all day. The program keeps our community’s seniors and other vulnerable populations from feeling the isolation that often accompanies being homebound.
“But really, Meals on Wheels SAVED my brother’s life,” Gwen said again.
She told me the story of the day her brother, a long-time Meals on Wheels recipient, became trapped under his wheelchair and couldn’t move. For hours, he lay there with only one thought going through his mind: “I’ve got to keep enough energy to yell for help when my Meals on Wheels driver arrives. I know he’ll be here at 11:30, as he is every day.”
Her brother was right. When his driver arrived, he heard the yell and promptly called 911. He stayed while the police came and knocked down the door to rescue Gwen’s brother.
In that instance and every day, Meals on Wheels volunteers are more than delivery drivers; they are a lifeline. By offering a friendly face, a chat, and a listening ear, they help combat the feeling of loneliness, which can be just as damaging as any physical ailment. Their small gestures of kindness make those they serve feel valued and loved.
Additionally, Meals on Wheels allows seniors and those with limited mobility stay in their own homes, where they’re most comfortable, as long as possible. Preserving their cherished independence improves their overall well-being, too.
In the case of Gwen, Meals on Wheels not only saved her brother, but continues to give her peace of mind that her loved one has another person looking out for him, just like a family member would.
By supporting Meals on Wheels, you not only help individuals, but you help build stronger, tighter-knit communities. Together, we create a network that cares for one another, transcending differences and fostering unity.
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