I have received more than food from Helping Hand Worldwide, I have received my purpose in life and my desire to live again. I used to be very lonely. I cannot walk much so I was not included in the park activities. That all changed when the food started coming to the park. So many people like me need the food. We are running the site ourselves and now I fit in with people, they give me purpose in life.
One day a dear old lady gave me a hug saying “thank-you for getting me the food, this is the first summer I have been able to have my air conditioner on.”
Thanks to all of you who bring the food, unload it and give to us!
God bless all of you. Beverly
A heartwarming example of how we build community while improving the health and well-being of our recipients is displayed at The Meadows Mobile Home Park for low-income seniors in Irvine. Like so many seniors throughout Orange County, many residents of The Meadows struggle to afford basic needs while living on a fixed income. They often must choose between healthy food, medications, transportation and other necessities. We are helping them with food insecurity by having our Mobile Food Pantry at the park every Thursday morning. We distribute fresh fruit, vegetables, chicken and meat, eggs, low-fat dairy products and whole grains. We offer something special too, bakery goods and fresh flowers.
The remarkable part of the story is how recipients have formed their own strong community where people devote themselves to helping others whether they are strangers or friends. For example, a group of residents at The Meadows recently joined together to build a rolling shelving unit that is wheeled out to our delivery trucks upon arrival. This helps immensely with moving the boxes and boxes of food into the community center for distribution. Another program, started by a different group of seniors, arranges for volunteers to drive golf carts to pick up park residents who are less mobile and bring them to the food distribution site. Yet other volunteers set our food up on long tables in a large “U” shape. This enables all residents to easily choose their groceries whether they are using electrical scooters, wheelchairs or walkers.
The seniors at The Meadows are truly symbolic of the way Helping Hand Worldwide helps build strong communities through balanced nutrition, volunteer involvement and a supportive environment. Countless residents at the Meadows met at our food distributions and then became lifelong friends. Most heartwarming is knowing we have helped reduced isolation and depression which is so common in senior communities. Many seniors have suffered with hunger to such a great degree that they have given up on the simple joys of life. We are changing that at The Meadows and at all the senior communities we serve.
Everyone at Helping Hand Worldwide believes these seniors deserve all our respect and all our thanks for sharing their wisdom and their kindness with us on each and every visit!