Meals-on-Wheels volunteers helping end senior hunger
PALMER - Brenda Trojacek of Palmer is an adamant believer in giving back to the community. She’s been a volunteer for Meals-on-Wheels of Johnson and Ellis Counties for several years and admits she cherishes the opportunity to not only make connections with the clients she’s come to love, but her father, Thomas Tollis serves as her "wing man" once a week.
"Now in the warmer weather, Pop gets out and takes a couple of them to the (clients) who don’t have stairs," Trojacek said.
There are several clients who look forward to seeing Tollis as well. There’s a bit of "male bonding" that occurs when Tollis ambles up with a meal for a male cohort. "They’re like, ‘Hey guy!’" Trojacek said.
She gently directs her father to retrieve a breakfast meal from the blue bag. Mary McLellan is usually the first client on the Ennis run and Trojacek said she’s a great way to begin the route.
"She always waiting by the door," Trojacek said.
Later, Raymond Slovak saunters up to the door and beams a broad smile as Trojacek chirps a greeting. Inside, Helen Slovak makes an appearance with the help of her walker as she makes her way into the kitchen. Trojacek emerges from the Slovak home as Tollis waits patiently in the car.
Once on the road, Trojacek reflects on her Meals-on-Wheels tenure.
"It’s so nice when you know your route," Trojacek said. "And man it’s tough when you’re by yourself." No fear, her wing man is near.
This is just one of the many examples of the selfless volunteers who give of their time to help the homebound each day in their community.
Meals-on-Wheels serves more than 750 people on a daily basis because of people like Brenda Trojacek and Thomas Tollis.
"Volunteers are essential for our program to be successful," said Amy Jackson, director of development. "Without the ongoing dedication of volunteers, we would not be able to impact the lives of the elderly, disabled, and their families."
During the organization’s month-long "March for Meals" campaign, Meals-on-Wheels is celebrating not only those they serve, but the volunteers, and the invaluable service they provide.
"We continue to need additional volunteers to deliver meals throughout the county," added Ms. Jackson. "Part of our campaign is to raise more awareness about senior hunger, recruit more volunteers, and raise more money," she concluded.
There are several events during the month to become involved with Meals-on-Wheels. A volunteer reception is scheduled on Tuesday, March 16, 5:30 pm, at the Holiday Inn in Waxahachie, and then, hosting local mayors and elected officials on Wednesday, March 24, where each will be delivering in their respective communities.
To end the month-long celebration, Meals-on-Wheels will have an evening of swing dancing, dinner, and much more at their annual benefit, "Remember When…a Fabulous Forties’ Fling." The event is scheduled for Saturday, March 27 at the National Guard Armory in Waxahachie, beginning at 6:30 pm. Tickets are $75 each, or tables for $1,000. Sponsorships are also available at varying levels.
Meals-on-Wheels is a community-based, non-profit organization serving the homebound elderly and disabled residents throughout Johnson and Ellis Counties.
For more information about the "March For Meals" events, volunteering, or about Meals-on-Wheels services, please contact Meals-on-Wheels at 972-351-9943 or www.servingthechildrenofy esterday.org.
"March for Meals" Campaign: "March For Meals" is a national campaign, initiated and sponsored by Meals On Wheels Association of America (MOWAA), to raise awareness of senior hunger and to encourage action on the part of the local community. Senior nutrition programs across the United States, like Meals-on-Wheels of Johnson and Ellis Counties, promote "March For Meals" in their local communities through public events, partnerships with local businesses, volunteer recruitment and fundraising initiatives.
A major aspect of the 2010 "March For Meals" campaign is for Americans to team up with their local Meals On Wheels program and take the Pledge to end senior hunger in America by 2020. This national movement comes at a good time, as recent MOWAA research studies have revealed that the problem of senior hunger in America is indeed growing worse. In fact, Texas is ranked number four in the nation for elderly "food insecurity." Currently, one in nine seniors is at risk of hunger in the United States.
For more information on the 2010 "March For Meals" campaign please contact Meals on Wheels Association of America at www.mowaa.org.