Nearly 10 million people in this country do not know where their next meal is coming from. Millions more experience the negative effects of living alone, including depression and isolation from social interaction with friends and family. Locally, East Cooper Meals on Wheels has found that the daily visit from a caring volunteer is just as important as delivering a healthy, delicious meal.
“Meals on Wheels saved my life,” shares 89-year-old Carolyn Allen. “I feel like I’m 50 again, but I’ll be turning 90 in June. It’s not just the food that has helped. Having people visit that I can share stories with is so special,” says Allen, a Meals on Wheels recipient since June of 2016.
According to her family, Allen has progressed from a state of isolation and depression to having a real joy for life again. They attribute this in large part to the love received daily from her volunteer delivery drivers, whom she now calls true friends.
The daily visit from a Meals on Wheels volunteer positively influences many aspects of life for the homebound in our community—physical health, safety, loneliness, mental health, and so much more. In fact, research from Meals on Wheels of America identifies the significant impact isolation and depression have on our physical wellbeing—the same as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.
“We’re the only organization east of the Cooper equipped to serve the homebound by providing not just the food they need, but the tangible benefits of friendship, conversation, and genuine concern for each recipient’s overall well-being,” said George Roberts, president and CEO of East Cooper Meals on Wheels. “We help our homebound neighbors live with greater dignity, respect, independence and vitality by knocking on their doors every day and giving them the gift of our time—a truly life-giving connection for someone who lives alone, which is especially important as we approach the holiday season,” he said.
The local nonprofit serves almost 300 recipients daily, who currently range in age from 35-98. Now through December 31, 2019, donations of $100 or more will be matched by several local partners, including:
- Carroll Limited Partnership will match up to $1,000 of Isle of Palms donations.
- Daniel Island Community Fund will match up to $5,000 of Daniel Island donations.
- Edward and Sallie Pritchard will match up to $2,000 of Sullivan’s Island donations.
- Feed The Need will match up to $10,000 of Mt. Pleasant donations.
During the holiday season, the organization works especially hard to ensure that no homebound neighbor is forgotten or hungry. East Cooper Meals on Wheels serves anyone who is homebound and cannot prepare a meal, including people of any age and any income level. Because the organization is 100% funded through community support, contributions ensure that the organization can continue its mission of delivering more than a meal to residents of Daniel Island, Mt. Pleasant, Sullivan’s Island, Isle of Palms, Cainhoy, and Wando. There is never a waiting list and never a charge for meals. Anyone can refer a friend, family member, neighbor, or themselves to begin receiving meals—call 843.881.9350, email [email protected], or visit www.ecmow.org.
Donate today by visiting, www.ecmow.org/donate or by calling 843.881.9350.
About East Cooper Meals on Wheels
East Cooper Meals on Wheels delivers daily nutrition to residents within its service area (Mount Pleasant, Daniel Island, Isle of Palms, Sullivan’s Island, Cainhoy or Wando) who are homebound or unable to provide their own meals. Recipients have physical or mental limitations or short-term physical limitations (such as recovery from surgery or chemotherapy). The organization also advocates on behalf of recipients whose needs exceed the scope of its program. For more information, visit www.ecmow.org.