breaking news

Officer in Breaion King arrest facing discipline over new force case

Food isn’t the only warmth some homebound elderly receive for Christmas


Highlights

Meals on Wheels volunteers delivered hot food and gifts to 445 homebound elderly people on Christmas Day.

“They are so kind and loving,” one recipient said of the Meals on Wheels volunteers.

Linda Richards broke her hip last year and spent the holidays in the hospital. She said she hasn’t felt like herself since then and isn’t able to cook a fancy meal. Her two sisters live in Alabama. So on a crisp and sunny Christmas morning, when three volunteers with Meals on Wheels knocked on her door with warm food and gifts, she wiped a tear from her eye.

“They always seem to give me exactly what I need,” Richards, 84, said as she unwrapped a package of socks. “I consider Meals on Wheels my family. They have been wonderful to me. I don’t know what I would have done without them.”

Richards is one of 445 homebound elderly adults in Central Texas to receive a hand-delivered meal from Meals on Wheels this Christmas: ham, sweet potatoes, spinach and strawberry glaze cake, plus donated gifts and construction paper cards, made by kids with Little Helping Hands.

“The food is important, but more important is there is such a beautiful spirit of the people that come here,” Richards said. “They are so kind and loving.”

More than 100 volunteers sacrificed their own Christmas morning with their families to make the deliveries, including twin sisters Darlene Pinson and Juanita Allen and Pinson’s husband, Robert, who have made the service opportunity a new family tradition. The sisters’ mom receives deliveries in Bertram, about 40 miles northwest of Austin.

“It feels good to know someone comes by the house when we’re not there,” Allen said.

The Pinsons and Allen delivered 10 meals to residences in East Austin. Many of the recipients were so overjoyed when they answered their doors they broke into tears.

The trio’s route was just one of 55 scheduled that day.

In a normal week, Meals on Wheels delivers food to 3,000 elderly and disabled people across Central Texas. This is the 12th year the nonprofit has offered Christmas Day meals, which it reserves for its most vulnerable population.

“Many of our clients live alone. They don’t have the resources to celebrate the holidays. Loneliness is a common emotion,” Meals on Wheels Central Texas President Adam Hauser said. “We wanted to be able to provide what we do every day of the year — a meal and a friendly visit from a volunteer — to show our clients that their community still cares about them and they are not forgotten on a day like Christmas.”

Every year a local organization steps up to sponsor the holiday meals. This year GoMediGap, a Medicare supplement insurance agency, covered the expense for the eighth time.

“Fortunately we have a very giving community,” Hauser said.

Those wishing to volunteer with Meals on Wheels Central Texas can find information on the nonprofit’s website, where it also invites donations for its regular meal delivery service.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Officer in Breaion King arrest facing discipline over new force case
Officer in Breaion King arrest facing discipline over new force case

An Austin police officer whose violent 2015 arrest of an elementary teacher received national attention and sparked reforms within the department is facing punishment that could include termination amid a new allegation involving excessive force. Officials are expected early this week to complete the disciplinary process for Officer Bryan Richter and...
BREAKING UPDATE: Woman shot in East Austin Sunday, officials say
BREAKING UPDATE: Woman shot in East Austin Sunday, officials say

5:30 p.m. update: A woman who was shot in East Austin Sunday has injuries that could be life threatening, Austin-Travis County EMS said. Austin police have responded to the scene of a shooting in the 5000 block of Wellington Drive. A woman who is believed to be in her 30s was shot and has been taken to Dell Seton Medical Center with critical, life...
Boy with 10-pound tumor on face dies after surgery in Florida
Boy with 10-pound tumor on face dies after surgery in Florida

A 14-year-old boy who recently underwent surgery to remove a 10-pound tumor from his face has died, according to news reports. Emanuel Zayas developed the benign tumor while suffering from polyostotic fibrous dysplasia, a genetic disorder in which fibrous tissue begins to replace bone in the body. “Our condolences and prayers for Emanuel's family...
Florida man dead after diving in underwater caves
Florida man dead after diving in underwater caves

A 50-year-old Florida man is dead after cave diving in Weeki Wachee Springs State Park this weekend, officials said. Davin Brannon, 53, of Dover, was diving in the Eagle’s Nest cave around noon Saturday when Hernando County Sheriff officials were called about a diver in distress. By the time crews arrived at the Chassahowitzka Wildlife Management...
Pope Francis jokes with cloistered nuns in Peru
Pope Francis jokes with cloistered nuns in Peru

Pope Francis drew appreciative laughter Sunday when he addressed cloistered nuns in a Peruvian church, Reuters reported. The nuns were given special permission to leave their convents to see the pontiff speak in Lima. Francis spoke to the 500 nuns, known as “contemplatives” because they rarely venture away from their convents, on his...
More Stories