President's Point – May 2017

Community Based Compassionate Care

 

Mark Baldino Portrait
Mark D. Baldino

April showers always bring May flowers but come springtime at Elder Care, our hope is that those showers will reinvigorate partners and supporters to continue to aide us in our great mission. Most people know Elder Care Services through Meals on Wheels, our signature program at the inception of this organization. This month, we celebrate 46 years of uninterrupted deliveries in our community, having served nearly 5 million meals since 1971! 

Each year, with the help of local leaders and dignitaries, we raise awareness about local senior nutrition and food insecurity issues through our annual Big Wheels Deliver Meals event. This star-studded group holds a special place in our hearts, not only because of the wonderful show of support, but also because in one powerful day of service, participants gain a firsthand experience and amplify our message in ways that we could not do alone.  

Recently, Meals on Wheels has been under the spotlight as the nation considers a new budget.  While the future of federal funding for several of our programs may be uncertain, we remain committed to our mission and need your support more than ever.  The reality is that 1 in 6 seniors struggles with hunger, and 1 in 4 are isolated, living alone.  We can provide a senior an entire year of Meals on Wheels for about the same cost as one day in the hospital!  This is about cost effective care.

It is also about compassionate care.  Elder Care Advisory Board Member Steve Evans, one of our honorary “Big Wheels” last year had this to say about his experience:

“Thank you very much for allowing me to be a very small part of what turned out to be a deeply warm and personal experience for me. The visits with the people we delivered meals to were eye opening, warm and personal. In all but one case, many of these people had a thirst for interacting with someone and in most cases, just wanted to know that someone was there who would listen. I learned that everyone has a remarkable personal story and life journey to share. All they need is someone willing to ask and spend a few moments listening. One 91 year old gentlemen we delivered to was blind, lived alone, walked with a walker and had memorized every inch of his condo. His home was filled with Marine-WWII memorabilia (and I mean filled). In sitting and talking with him, we found out that he is a direct relative of the Hatfields & McCoys, a graduate of the University of West Virginia and a real WWII Marine hero from the battle of Iwo Jima. As we left, he gave us each two books...one of his WWII experiences and the other about his family. We left with a commitment for the department of Elder Affairs wanting to do a story about him.”
Stories like this fuel us.  Thank you to our partners, new and old, who work together with us to care for so many seniors who have given so much to us and to our communities. 

Mark's signature

Mark D. Baldino
Contact me @
baldinom@ecsbigbend.org
(850) 245-5930


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