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Meals On Wheels Atlanta January 2015
In this issue:
  • 50th Anniversary
  • Party at Saltyard
  • First Data Volunteers
  • Letter from Doug & Sarah Bell
 
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3.4 Million Meals Served!
 

On  January 15th, Mayor Kasim Reed, Atlanta Falcon's players Joe Hawley and Lamar Holmes and local elementary students participated in the delivery of Meals On Wheels Atlanta's 3.4 millionth meal for our organization’s 50th anniversary kick-off celebration.

Milestone meals, flowers and balloons were delivered to Meals On Wheels Atlanta clients, Mother Hughes, who is over 100 years old, and Ms. Precious Boyer.

Mayor Kasim Reed said, "This is important because it really represents the volunteer spirit and Meals on Wheels doesn't work without volunteers. This is not just a food service, but a service that lets people like Ms. Boyer know they are never, ever forgotten."

"In 50 years, we've been able to accomplish so much," said, Jeff Smythe, executive director - Meals On Wheels Atlanta. "When the meal delivery program began, we delivered 75 meals a year. Now, we deliver more than 130,000 nourishing meals annually to frail or homebound seniors in Atlanta."

Originally founded as Senior Citizen Services, our organization has grown from simply delivering meals to managing seven senior centers, an adult day care center for those with dementia and Alzheimer's and completing more than 1,200 home repairs annually to keep seniors living independently for as long as possible.

Smythe said, "We currently have 307 seniors on the waiting list to receive meals, and another 314 on the home repairs waiting list. Now, these don't seem like daunting numbers, but it takes resources - both financial and human - to keep our program moving forward. Participation from donors and supporters as well as volunteers is critical to our continued success."

Atlanta Falcons players Lamar Holmes and Joe Hawley

 
Celebration at Saltyard
 

Following the successful delivery of our 3.4 millionth meal, MOWA held a triumphant gathering at Saltyard. It was the perfect ending to an momentous day and the beginning of a celebration-filled 50th year.  The event was attended by past and current board members, donors, friends and staff.

Many thanks to Nick Leahy, owner of Saltyard and MOWA Board Member. We also want to thank Georgia Power, for sponsoring the event.

 
 
Diary of a Volunteer
 

Recently, we had the pleasure of hosting a team of volunteers from First Data. One of their team members shared their volunteer experience with us and we thought it was a perfect way to describe what may take place when you volunteer with MOWA.

Below is First Data volunteer, Jason Cook's account of the day:

Yesterday (December 16th) our team met at the headquarters for Meals On Wheels Atlanta as part of what I hope will be many more service projects to come.

Our team received an initial in-brief and were given our instructions on how we were to deliver the meals to each of the homes (there are currently 260 seniors on the waiting list to get in to this program).  We divided into three groups of three each and headed out on our delivery routes, not really sure what to expect.

What we encountered were wonderful, vibrant members of our community who were so happy to have someone come in to their homes, even if just for 15 or 20 minutes, and share with them some holiday cheer.  We encountered people approaching 100 years of age that had nearly a century of stories to tell and a twinkle in their eye that they had someone to share them with.  Walking down the streets of Atlanta with the great Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., old T-Birds parked in the driveways with stories to tell, closely guarded family recipes of how best to prepare fried chicken, and sad tales of outliving your three precious sons.

We shared hugs as we would leave.  They touched our lives and we touched theirs.  And through it all, we came even just a little bit closer as a team.  We have a standing invitation now from Meals On Wheels Atlanta to return any time—they were quite impressed with our team.

--Jason Cook
Sales Director, Atlanta

 

A Special Thank You!

Sadly, Mr. Max Bell, a long-time client of our Adult Day Center, recently passed away.   Below is a letter his family wrote thanking Adult Day Health staff for the valuable services they provide to both the client and their caregivers.

Dear Brett, Gladys and EVERYONE at the Senior Center,

Thank you for all of your loving care over the past few years for Max.  Before he came to the center, he was very bored with little change in the everyday monotony - you changed that.  You also made it A LOT easier for us to have him live with us long term for which we will always be thankful.  You may not feel that your job is glamourous - but it makes a HUGE difference in many people's lives that ripples out to many more and affects much for years to come.  Thank you and keep up the good work! 

Sincerely, Doug & Sarah Bell

Meals On Wheels Atlanta 1705 Commerce Drive, NW Atlanta, GA 30318
Phone: (404) 351-3889   |  Email: info@mealsonwheelsatlanta.org

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