PREBLE COUNTY — In recognition of Giving Tuesday on Tuesday, Dec. 3, Preble County Council on Aging (PCCOA) has been encouraging people to donate to the Home Delivered Meals program and Sponsor-A-Senior in the program.
Community members can Sponsor-A-Senior and donate to the Home Delivered Meals program all year long, but the PCCOA focuses on social media posts during the holiday season in honor of Giving Tuesday.
“Sponsor-A-Senior is one of our programs that help relieve the seniors in the community. We do have our Meals on Wheels program, that is also called our Home Delivered Meals program. We have five drivers who go out on five or six routes all over the county to feed seniors,” Marketing Manager Holly Steele said.
“However, we have a waiting list of 34 seniors currently waiting to receive hot, nutritious meals. That is where Sponsor-A-Senior comes in — to help gain the funding, to help feed the seniors, to help eliminate senior hunger in Preble County.”
The Home Delivered Meals program makes a huge impact in seniors’ lives, and sometimes even means the difference in keeping them in their homes for longer.
Steele added, this program is about more than just delivering a hot meal — which is momentous on its own — but also provide checks to make sure seniors are happy and healthy in their homes.
“It is not only about delivering a hot, nutritious meal. It is also a check-in. A lot of seniors live alone — this gives them someone to talk to, someone to connect with. The drivers are trained to look at the bigger picture and look into their environment, making sure the senior is safe and healthy,” she said. “Sometimes they’ll do little things like take out the trash or help with things the client needs help with.”
Sue Adams has been receiving meals through the Home Delivered Meals program for roughly two years. To her, this program has improved her quality of life.
“It is a lot of help to me. At the time I went on the program, I had a broken hip and a lot of things. The main reason my family signed me up was that they live away and they wanted me to have the food, but they also wanted someone to see me every day, since I was living along,” she said.
“Also, I’m 89 years old, there are days where if I had to fix food I wouldn’t bother. This program has really been a help to me. Every one of the people who have come to my help are respectful and nice people. This has been a great help to me.”
Brenda Gant was one of the many donors for this years Sponsor-A-Senior Program. She learned of the program by being a member of the Senior Center and reading their newsletter. For her, it was important to donate and support seniors in Preble County.
“I’m 67, I think ahead. I think, what if I get to the point where I couldn’t cook my meals or afford it. I can really appreciate their position. I have a lot of empathy for other seniors who maybe aren’t as able as I am. You never know when it is going to be you that needs help,” she said.
“People feel more generous during the holiday season, but I think it is very important to support whatever charities you like all year round.”
Sponsor-A-Senior is a way to get more seniors off that waiting list and help them receive Home Delivered Meals. The social media push PCCOA has been doing is in direct correlation with Giving Tuesday, and is a way to reach a larger network outside of Preble County.
Three years ago, when PCCOA first began the social media push for Sponsor-A-Senior, a total of $800 was raised. Last year, they raised $2,500. As of Wednesday, Nov. 27, PCCOA had raised approximately $5,300.
Lawn Plus has agreed to match every $100 donation to the program this year.
PCCOA has a goal for 2019 of raising $6,000 for the Sponsor-A-Senior program. According to Steele, this will feed 10 seniors for a year.
While this push was directly related to Giving Tuesday, Preble County Council on Aging does accept donations for the Home Delivered Meals program all year long. More information can be found on Preble County Council on Aging’s Facebook, https://prebleseniorcenter.org, or by calling or stopping into the Senior Center directly.
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH