Sarah Hansel -Tulsa World: Giving Tuesday is coming up. Please remember Meals on Wheels
November 30, 2019
Sarah Hansel is a shareholder and director at Hall Estill law firm and a member of the Tulsa World Community Advisory Board.
On the heels of another successful Tulsa Area United Way fundraising campaign and a bountiful Thanksgiving celebration with family and friends, and with Giving Tuesday just around the corner, I want to tell you why I give my time, talent and treasure to Meals on Wheels of Metro Tulsa and why you should consider doing the same.
Meals on Wheels has delivered meals to Tulsa-area homebound residents for nearly 50 years. Their services have enabled clients, whether elderly, or temporarily or permanently disabled, to live with dignity and a measure of independence. When the difference between remaining in one’s home and having to move to an assisted living or dependent care facility is nothing more than receiving a nutritious meal, one can see how simple and effective Meals on Wheels’ services are.
The delivery of a meal not only provides critical nutrition to its clients, it also provides the opportunity to avoid or respond to many critical health issues. During my many years of service to Meals on Wheels, I have heard numerous stories of how something as simple as the delivery of a meal by a kind and caring volunteer brightened someone’s lonely day and sometimes was instrumental in saving a life by alerting family members and medical personnel to an emergency situation. A Meals on Wheels volunteer can sometimes serve as the only touch point with an often forgotten population.
The meals, wellness checks and home safety repairs that Tulsa’s Meals on Wheels provides help reduce the burden on society and family members by making it possible for clients to remain in their homes longer than what might otherwise have been possible.
Recently, the agency has taken significant steps to increase meal deliveries to address our increasing aging population and other groups who are food challenged at home. Through the Feed Our Future program, Meals on Wheels delivers weekend meal bags to food insecure Tulsa public high school students. Food insecure students have a harder time paying attention in class and staying healthy. Meeting those nutritional needs gives those students an increased chance of achieving their highest potential in school, work and life.
Unlike almost all senior food delivery programs in the country, Meals on Wheels of Metro Tulsa obtains almost all of its funding from nongovernmental sources. As such, private fundraising is a never-ending need, but the good news is the group does an amazing job of providing meals at the low cost of $3.24 per meal. It’s equally impressive that the cost of providing a meal has decreased over the last several years while at the same time the nutritional value and taste of the meal have improved with the addition of fresher ingredients and more local and organic ingredients. Meals on Wheels is a bargain!
There are so many deserving and vital programs to support with our charitable donations and volunteer time, and I give to a number of local nonprofits. It’s important for me to know my investment of time and resources will make a difference to the people served by the organizations I support. And although the need to feed is never ending (we all assume we will eat on a daily basis), I know that even a modest donation to Meals on Wheels of Metro Tulsa will make a significant difference. With a donation of $100, I can provide more than 30 meals. Add a zero to that donation and the number of meals increases 10-fold. So little does so much.
This is the time of year when families traditionally get together to share a meal. This is also the time of year when we are often reminded of those less fortunate who may be lonely and hungry. While enjoying those traditions, I plan to share my good fortune with others.
Please consider a donation to Meals on Wheels of Metro Tulsa this Giving Tuesday and learn more about their expanding services. You have a choice where to spend your time, treasure and talent now and throughout the year. I hope you consider Meals on Wheels of Metro Tulsa www.MealsOnWheelsTulsa.org when you make that choice.