Meals-on-Wheels plans for ‘A Fabulous Forties Fling’ to celebrate the ‘Greatest Generation’
Meals-on-Wheels client Shirley Hedrick of Midlothian was only six years old when President Franklin Delano Roosevelt addressed the nation with the horrific news regarding the “day that will live in infamy.”
“We just sat around our little battery radio and cried,” she said.
Growing up in Pilot Point, Texas, Hedrick recalled her mother planting a garden and canning vegetables in order to make ends meet during World War II.
Purchasing power was offered through rationing stamps and when school started in the fall, Hedrick’s mom petitioned relatives for the stamps needed to buy her little girl a new pair of school shoes.
“We were just poor farming people at that time,” Hedrick explained.
“Things were tight but nobody complained of course,” she recalled.
“It was just a time when you felt like any sacrifice you had to do was worth it.”
When Hedrick graduated from high school in 1951, she said there were few career options to pursue.
“You were either a secretary or a nurse,” she said.
With her parent’s gentle prodding, Hedrick chose the latter.
But she was only 16 years old when she graduated and the literature from the nursing school indicated the age restrictions for the program as between 17-35.
“So I went through a wonderful summer thinking they won’t take me I’m too young,” she said.
“Well, if you could walk and chew gum at the same time they took you, they needed nurses so bad.
“They didn’t even ask how old I was.”
For three years, Hedrick poured over her studies at St Paul Hospital in Dallas with the nuns who oversaw student training – The Daughters of Charity.
“They kept your nose to the grindstone and I’m sure glad they did, we learned a lot,” she said.
“I went in a girl and came out a grown up. It really changed my thinking about the whole world.”
Like Shirley Hedrick and the many others Meals-on Wheels serves, the events planned during the month of March have been planned to honor them and celebrate the “greatest generation.”
On Saturday, March 31, Meals-on-Wheels will host an annual benefit, “A Fabulous Forties Fling.”
The event will take place at the Midlothian Conference Center and will feature an evening of dinner and entertainment including big band sounds, swing dancing, and more.
The major event underwriter is Walgreens Distribution Center.
Sponsorships for the event are still available at many levels, and a VIP Reception will be offered for top sponsors.
This event is part of March for Meals, the national campaign to end senior hunger.
During March, meal programs across the nation take part in efforts to encourage local participation such as donating or volunteering.
For more information on this event and how to be a part of March for Meals, please contact the office at 972-351-9943 or visit the website at www.servingthechildrenofyesterday.org.
Meals-on-Wheels is a community benefit organization serving the homebound elderly and disabled residents throughout Johnson & Ellis Counties for 35 years.