Hear Me Roar
November 2019 Issue
Photography by Cassidy Dunn
What is Meals on Wheels? Meals on Wheels (MOW) is a non-profit charity starting it’s 40th year of providing nutritious mid-day meals to our homebound, elderly, ill, injured, or disabled neighbors in Hilton Head Island, Bluffton and Sun City. We deliver meals 5 days a week, 52 weeks a year, including holidays.
How can people be a recipient of Meals on Wheels? If someone cannot easily get to the grocery store, or prepare meals for themselves, they can contact MOW at 843-689-8334, or visit www.lowmow.org. We send a MOW volunteer to to meet with potential clients to describe our service and determine eligibility. Ability to pay for the meals is NOT a factor; we work with our recipients to determine what is appropriate. People can sign up for 5 days a week, or only a few days a week. They can receive meals long term, or on a temporary basis. If someone has had surgery, or is sick and only needs meals while recovering, we can also take care of that need.
Tell us about your volunteers—what do they do, how many, etc. Volunteer drivers are always needed. We have 7 routes – 4 on Hilton Head, 2 in Bluffton and 1 in Sun City. A driver picks up the meals, beverages, and desserts at our facility at 75 Capital Drive on HHI at 9:30 in the morning. They supply their own coolers – one to put the hot meals in and another for the beverages and anything cold. They get a list of clients for their route for that day (as it may change daily due to some clients not getting meals every day or having doctors appointments, etc), pack everything up and drive their routes and deliver the meals to each client’s home. The typical route is usually finished before noon. Drivers can volunteer for as little a one morning a month, or for more if they so desire. We have over 100 volunteer drivers but can always use more. If you would like to volunteer please contact us at 843-689-8334.
Volunteering has a blessed boomerang effect; when we serve others, we are served. You probably have numerous stories! The human element is a very important part of being a volunteer. Recently one of our volunteers was at a client’s home and rang the doorbell and knocked several times without getting an answer. She was about to call the contact number when she heard someone calling out to her from inside the home. She went in (as the door was unlocked) and found that the client had fallen and couldn’t get up. She helped the client up, made sure she wasn’t injured and left the meal with her. Our volunteer said that if she had not been there to deliver the meal, who knows how long the sweet lady would have been on the floor. She felt that it was one of the most fulfilling days she ever had as a driver.
Is there more to Meals on Wheels than just meals? The human connection is as important as the nutritional value of delivering the meals. Volunteers chat with their clients and make sure they are OK. For many clients our volunteers are the only person they may see all day. One of our client’s daughters wrote to us: "My 96-year-old mother was able to live independently in her home on Hilton Head for years thanks to your nutritious meals delivered each day. Even more important to her happiness and well-being were the wonderful volunteers who came each day—rain or shine. Thank you!"
Where does the food for Meals on Wheels come from? The meals are prepared in Savannah and approved by a nutritionist. They are delivered fresh five mornings a week to our facility on HHI.
How does Meals on Wheels accommodate for Thanksgiving and Christmas? MOW has many caring volunteers who love to deliver on holidays. We deliver on Thanksgiving and Christmas if it falls on a weekday. We have a volunteer who loves to deliver on Thanksgiving and Christmas. He has been doing it for years and says that being able to connect with his clients on those days and wishing them a “Happy Holiday” warms his heart.
How can the community help or get involved? Since Meals on Wheels Hilton Head Island/Bluffton does NOT receive any federal or state funds, we rely on local grants and the generosity of our community. Donations are always needed and are tax deductible. Please send a check (in any amount) made out to Treasurer, Meals-on-Wheels at: Meals-on-Wheels, PO Box 23691, Hilton Head Island, SC 29925 or visit our website at www.lowmow.org to get more information on how to help.
What is the team at Meals on Wheels currently Roaring About?
We are excited about our charity night at Fat Patties Restaurant in Bluffton on Tuesday, November 19. A portion of what the restaurant sells that night will go to MOW! Please come to Fat Patties on November 19 to enjoy a great meal, a craft beer and help MOW.
By the Numbers:
Number of recipients served: 70 to 85 people per day, Thousands over our 40 years
Number of days per year meals are delivered: 260
Number of meals served each year: Approximately 22,000
Number of thank you notes received: Hundreds, plus many endowments from deceased past clients and volunteers.
Number of volunteers: Hundreds over the past 40 years