As we take a walk through their state-of-the-art kitchen, steaming vats of sauces behind her, Bradley explains the mission of Meals on Wheels: to provide nutritional support for people that are frail, elderly or younger adults with disabilities who are unable to provide nutritional support on their own. On a daily basis, from the ovens of this on-site kitchen, 1,180 meals are distributed to hundreds of volunteers that deliver them on over 90 routes in 9 communities over 4 counties.
Nutritional support is not a service that can pause during a pandemic. When cases increased and fundraising events were forced to cancel, their team pressed forward. Though this organization had a small rainy day fund, digging into emergency dollars did little to quell the mounting concern and fear Betty began to have about meeting client needs.
“It was scary,” says Betty. “Probably about 60 percent of our budget comes from fundraisers and donations from individuals, and gifts from foundations, businesses and service groups.” Those were now limited.
Then came Abilene Gives and the Support Abilene Fund.
“We were very pleased that the Community Foundation of Abilene stepped up and had a plea for donors to contribute to help local nonprofits navigate COVID. The response to that was incredible. It was such a blessing and it helped us get through that hard time...It was a very dark time. We’re coming out of the darkness and into the light and it’s amazing. It’s been wonderful.”
Although exceptional performance from Abilene Gives and the additional COVID grant funding proved fruitful, Betty is still left to wonder what tomorrow holds, but because of generous donors from the Community Foundation of Abilene, the load is a little lighter to bear.