Virus or no virus, our aging population is a point of concern as we get a little older ourselves and start to see the first signs of the "golden years" start to show in our parents. Very fortunately, for me, mine are both still quite healthy, agile, social and able to manage the day to day. But, like anyone who's approaching 50 the relentless march of time has taken its toll on those who I once saw as invincible.
There are those out there however who don't get to their later years with such luxuries. Some are isolated. Some are food insecure. Some have no interaction other than their delivery of food from Meals on Wheels weekly and for those who are able to get out and enjoy some social activity, well...like anything else, their plans have been curtailed by the cancellation of any kind of group outing or congregate gathering. What they are seeing on TV or reading online is what they are getting in some cases and it only adds to the panic for some. It's a scary time to be alone.
AgeWell Services is on the very front line of care for our senior community. While the programs they normally operate are all on stand by. Things like the congregate meals around the county...the Activity Center at Tanglewood Park and more are in park, but the staff and volunteers of AgeWell are getting anything but a break. On Tuesday the 24th, one of the first curbside meal pick up's happened at the Muskegon Farmers Market in Downtown Muskegon. They had 300 meal kits ready to go for those 60 an older and there wasn't even so much as the need to have people get out of the car. Drive up, give a name...drive up a little further, in the back seat goes a meal kit with some frozen meals and some non perishable food items to bridge the gap. To watch the entire thing unfold on social media was incredible and to know the people who are our making it happen is a great part of being in such a rich community. When I say rich, I truly mean rich in ways more important than financial.
Right now, the immediate need for AgeWell and Meals on Wheels is just that though, financial. As you'll hear in our interview, Executive Director Kris Collee explains...they need to be able to fund things like fuel for a freezer truck that's been lent to them for the time. They need to maintain their food distribution. They need things like masks if you can sew and more. We also discuss dates for future curbside meal pick up's in and arounf the Muskegon, Ottawa and Oceana areas. We sat down in the "new norm" of interviews for a while and Kris explains it all. Take a listen.
As she mentioned in the video....a $5 spot will help. How were defining "hero" is changing hour by hour, if not minute by minute. We got to where we are today because those in the elderly community were here to guide us to become the adults we are. Check on the older folks in your life. Make a phone call. Spend a little time on an instant message chat. Are they able to Facetime or Skype? Do it. Are you able to spare a few bucks to keep the hearts and belly's full? You'll find the link below to throw a couple bucks the way of AgeWell services and Meals on Wheels and help them help those who need it most right about now.