When Marianne Clare arrived to deliver meals to a woman she hadn’t seen in almost 15 months, she didn’t exactly expect the greeting she received.
“You been shot?” the woman asked her. Of course Clare was a bit puzzled, until the woman repeated herself, this time gesturing with her finger pointing at her arm like a syringe. Clare replied, “Yes, two times,” to which the woman said, “Me too! Good, I can hug you now.”
East Cooper Meals on Wheels is once again delivering meals five days a week, and vaccinated volunteers and recipients are enjoying the opportunity to interact in more meaningful ways.
“It’s great to see how happy the people are to see us,” shared Pete Henley, who volunteers every Tuesday with Clare, Bobby Daniels, and Sue Marcotte — all residents in the independent living community at Sandpiper Retirement Village. “Sometimes, we’re the only people they see all day.”
After more than a year of no-contact deliveries, a measure taken to keep recipients, volunteers, and staff safe during the pandemic, returning to the hallmarks of what makes East Cooper Meals on Wheels so special is a welcomed change.
Tom & Nancy Osterhaus, who deliver meals every Thursday, shared that sometimes the daily visit matters just as much as the food. “One of our recipients told us she was counting down the days until everyone could come back and deliver meals every day. She said it would give her a reason to get up and get dressed, and she was just so excited,” said Nancy.
Even amongst all the extra benefits – friendship, socialization, and a daily safety check – delivering a healthy meal and fresh fruit, as well as breakfast bags, nutritional drinks, and pet food, is still the foundation of East Cooper Meals on Wheels. People of all ages are eligible to receive meals, and even if you’re just homebound temporarily, you qualify.
“Unexpected things happen – broken bones, heart attacks, cancer, surgeries, car accidents – and it can be difficult to shop at the grocery store or stand at the stove long enough to cook a meal,” said George Roberts, President/CEO of East Cooper Meals on Wheels. “We’re here to help, at no cost, so that you or your loved one can focus on getting better.
The local nonprofit is ready to serve the evolving East Cooper community, and it also relies 100% on community funding to keep the meals moving. Whether it’s a 94-year-old widow who wants to stay in her own home as long as possible but no longer drives, or a 30-year-old man who got in a car accident and needs help for a few weeks, the meals are delivered to them at no charge. Anyone can make a referral for a friend, family member, neighbor, or even themselves, at www.ecmow.org or by calling (843) 881-9350.
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