Today (Wednesday 9/18) I had the pleasure to talk to Sabrina with the Davidson County Senior Services. She works with Meals on Wheels and the Meals on Wheels for Pets program in Thomasville, NC.
The Meals on Wheels For Pets program was started when volunteers saw the need to help elderly pet owners who were Meals on Wheels recipients.
Now, some people may say, “If you can’t afford to feed your pet, do you need one?” My answer to this is, “How much companionship does your pet provide to you? If your financial status changed would you get rid of your pet?” Hopefully a pet lover would see this as an opportunity.
(Just a quick story – my mother is 75 years old and lives alone, but she has Chimbi, a cheerful dachshund and a wonderful nurse. When Mom recovered from breast cancer surgery Chimbi was Mom’s constant companion. Mama has the means to provide, and I’m available to run and get Chimbi’s food – but a lot of older people don’t have someone they can count on.)
In steps, Meals on Wheels for Pets of Davidson County. Sabrina shared with me about how meaningful the Meals on Wheels program is to seniors. Many seniors suffer with isolation, and those with pets have a reason to engage in physical activity and they have companionship.
Currently in the US, there are over 6.5 million Americans over 65 years old that deal with some type of depression. In many cases this didn’t occur until they lost their independence, or the aging process, or being cut off from social activities. There are over 11 million people 65 and over that live alone, so that means half of the seniors that live alone deal with depression. (Statistically there are about 48 million senior citizens in the US)
You can probably see where a pet in the life of a senior can provide a reason to get up, something cares if you’re alive. (I mean, ya’ll know what John Wick’s dog meant to him….)
The Meals on Wheels for Pets program was funded, but the funding was removed and now they rely on donations. Sabrina said that they could make it on $3,000 yearly. They serve 45 senior pet owners monthly. That is amazing, and good budgeting!
This blog post is specific to the Meals on Wheels for Pets in Davidson County, NC – but It’s also a reminder to whoever is reading this, there is an opportunity to serve others and our aging population may need a little help.
If you’re interested in providing a little help – you can make a donation to them
Davidson County Senior Services – Thomasville Office – 211 W. Colonial Drive Thomasville, NC 27360
If you’re an Amazon Prime member, you can order a bag of cat food or dog food and send it to this address. It would be greatly appreciated. Your community may do something similar, and you may see the need to get involved. You may find out your community doesn’t have a service like this and maybe you could start one! (YES YOU!!!!)
Honestly, it never occurred to me there would be a need for this until I read the original article. https://myfox8.com/2019/09/13/davidson-county-meals-on-wheels-for-pets-has-critical-need-for-pet-food-donations/
Lastly, let me encourage you to think of seniors you may have in your life. My church picks up seniors and brings them to church, because they cannot drive and they just don’t get out very often. If you think long enough, there may be a senior in your life that would love a call from you, they may appreciate you running to the grocery store for some bread and milk, or just drop by with a milkshake and let them tell you a story about when they were young.
Kindness doesn’t have to cost anything except your time and it can mean so much to them. (and if they have a pet, bring them a can of “wet food” – it will “tickle them pink”)
Also – a shout out to #MyFriends – we’ve already got $50 to send to help them just by asking a few friends. That’s about 1 week’s worth of food in their budget.