Did you know Grandparents Day is Sunday September 13? Although my grandparents are no longer with us, I have recently learned there are many grandparents in need in my local community and we can help make them feel special this year.
One of the reasons I wanted to become a television news reporter was to be the voice for the voiceless. I get to tell stories that help people in need, which in turn allows other people to step up and help too. I come in contact with hundreds of people in so many different neighborhoods on the job for KTLA 5 in Los Angeles, and I have learned that our viewers are always willing to help. I also now realize how many people want to help but sometimes don’t know how.
I created my nonprofit Fix’n Fidos to pay for spay and neuter surgeries and vet bills to help keep pets out of shelters. At the beginning of the pandemic, however, people started emailing me asking for help with pet food so they didn’t have to surrender their animals to shelters. Several people told me they were in a position where they had to choose between buying food for their families or their pets. Of course we had to help!
Around the same time, I also received an email from Yuri McLellan from St. Vincent Meals on Wheels serving the downtown Los Angeles area. She told me they desperately needed help providing pet food for the dogs and cats of their senior citizens. I was thrilled when our amazing viewers began to donate money and food. Since then, my non-profit has committed to helping them every month for the rest of the year and hopefully beyond that.
I have learned so much about the organization now that I’m working with them regularly. Since the pandemic started, St. Vincent Meals on Wheels has had to add 450 additional seniors to their client list which is a total of more than 1200 seniors now and 21,000 total meals a week! For the first time ever, they have a waiting list of 700 homebound seniors/disabled people who need meals.
Imagine being a homebound senior on a tight budget. Maybe you don’t get many visits from friends or family, and you don’t want to feel like a burden to anyone and ask for anything extra. I pictured my parents in that situation and it really pulled at my heartstrings.
Our seniors have so much knowledge and life experience and should be cherished, but they’re often looked over. We can change that!
St. Vincent Meals on Wheels is organizing “love packages” to deliver to their seniors on National Grandparents Day this year, Sunday, September 13th.
They tell me that in addition to the nutritious meals they give seniors, they like to share small gifts on their birthdays and give them things like toiletries when there’s a holiday like Grandparents Day, Thanksgiving or Christmas.
I knew I wanted to help but when I heard this story from a St. Vincent Meals on Wheels employee it made me realize it was time to act fast.
“Last Christmas we received a call from one of the seniors thanking us for her toothbrush and toothpaste. She was waiting for her social security check to be able to buy a toothbrush. She had been using a rag to clean her teeth.“
These men and women don’t need much, and they certainly don’t ask for a lot. Let’s use this Grandparents Day as an opportunity to be kind, adopt a senior, make a donation, become a volunteer, or simply buy an item for a senior from this Amazon Wishlist provided by St. Vincent Meals on Wheels.