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Volume 5, Issue 1

Newsletter of Meals on Wheels and More


Clients and volunteers find friendships through Meals on Wheels When Mark Evans, 28, decided to volunteer for Meals on Wheels and More two years ago, he didn’t anticipate making new friends. “I did it just wanting to do something to help,” he said. “So this was kind of unexpected.” The “this” that Mark refers to is his new-found friendship with 78-year-old Billie Herring, who has been on his meal delivery route from the very beginning. One day, when Mark dropped off her meal, Billie asked him if he would like to come in and get acquainted. He said yes, and ever since then they’ve been swapping stories and sharing life advice. In fact, Billie was there as Mark traveled through the dating and engagement stages of his relationship with his now-wife Tracy. When the two wed this spring, Billie was present at the wedding to raise a glass. “She heard about [Tracy] every week … and I am so glad she could come to the wedding,” he said. “She came, she stayed, she toasted.”

The first time Patty drove Rosie to a doctor’s appointment, through the Meals on Wheels and More Medi Wheels program, she made a decision. Any time Rosie needed a ride, she would provide it. “I told her, ‘I have another appointment this week, but you can’t take me. [The program coordinator] said it was just supposed to be one ride per week,’” Rosie recalled. “And Patty just looked at me and said, “You let me worry about that.’” Since then, Patty has been Rosie’s go-to person anytime she needs to visit the doctor. And through the course of it all the two women have become close, “like sisters.” One special day when Rosie didn’t have a doctor’s appointment, Patty drove Rosie to the MOWAM headquarters so she could meet the Medi Wheels coordinator in person. The two women sipped tea in the lobby, held hands, and gushed over one another when prompted about their friendship.

“She’s been a good example for me,” he continued. “She tells me stories and gives me advice. With marriage, she’s told me it’s “Patty has been one of the best friends I have ever had,” Rosie not always easy, but that it’s a commitment that you stick with said. “I just fell in love with her. She doesn’t make me feel like and take it day by day.” I am taking advantage of her … and she’s a true friend. I’ve never had a friend like this before. I’ve had many friends, but I Continued on the back page ...

3227 E. 5th STREET


Continued on the back page ...



VOLUNTEER FINDS TRAGEDY AT CLIENT’S HOME Recently, one of our volunteers encountered a tragic situation at the home of two clients - a husband and a wife. Upon arrival at the house, the volunteer received no response from ringing the doorbell or calling, despite the fact that both of the clients’ vehicles were in the driveway. Feeling that something was wrong, she went to the back of the house to investigate. There, she could hear the wife calling for help through the back door. Looking through the window, she saw the wife, who was wheelchair-bound, lying on the floor. The volunteer made it into the house and found that the wife was trying to reach her husband, who had passed away in his bed. The volunteer took the wife into the other room, called MOWAM to call 911, and waited with the wife until emergency responders and family members came to help. We hope our volunteers don’t have to encounter situations like this while out on their routes, but wanted to share this story because it is a powerful reminder of how important our volunteers’ vigilance and attention are to the safety of those we serve.

Course for Caregivers to be hosted at MOWAM This fall, Meals on Wheels and More and Austin Groups for the Elderly are proud to offer a new 6 week course for individuals who are caregivers to loved ones in their lives. “Powerful Tools for Caregivers” will begin in September or October. The class, sponsored by the St. David’s Foundation, will meet weekly at Meals on Wheels and More’s Central Kitchen headquarters and will be free to adult caregivers. For more information, please call Marjorie Murphey-Camacho at 512-476-6325 x. 138, email her at or check our website for updates.

The Glenda Rogers Country Wheels Program

Recently, we renamed our Country Wheels program in honor of Glenda Rogers, the former director of the Area Agency on Aging who played an integral role in helping us extend our service area so that we could reach individuals living in rural areas.

“A WAY TO HELP” by Mayra Reyes

“My mom works at Meals on Wheels. She helps the elderly and people who don’t have money or food stamps. She also takes my sister and me to work with her, and we help by giving food and presents to the [homebound]. Come work at Meals on Wheels and help the [homebound] and elderly. Don’t listen to what your boyfriend or your husband says. Just go help the [homebound] and elderly so that they can live their lives better.” Printed in the Spring 2011 edition of “Rise: Youth Voices in Ink” from Badgerdog Publishing.

Jonestown Art Installation Honors Seniors

“Living History,” a photo exhibit by our Jonestown Senior Center Site Director Kim Conley, was a tribute to the men and women who live in Jonestown and are active at the center. The exhibit featured several 4-foot-by-3-foot black and white photos of the men and women, which were hung in downtown Jonestown at City Hall, the Town Library, and the Travis County Community Center. “For the last few years, I have been looking for a way to honor the seniors I have become so very fond of in my work with Meals on Wheels and More,” said Kim. “[This exhibit was] created to bring attention to the elders of this community and to honor the wisdom, the knowledge, and the humor that seniors bring to the places that they live.”

Be our friend online!

To g e t h e r, w e c a n e n d s e n i o r h u n g e r i n C e n t r a l Te x a s .

4-year-old Donates her Piggy Bank Savings

Gratitude • St. David’s Foundation for supporting Meals on Wheels and Second Meals; • The United Way of the Capital Area for awarding MOWAM a Community Investment Grant in support of the Meals on Wheels Program; • The Lola Wright Foundation for underwriting the cost of a new dishwashing machine; • Applied Materials Foundation for sponsoring an Adopt-a-Route and for having a volunteer meal delivery team; • The Charles H. Phipps Family Foundation for supporting Second Meals; • ONEOK, Inc. for supporting MOWAM’s building expansion; • The Donald D. Hammill Foundation for supporting Meals on Wheels; • The Junior League of Austin for selecting Care Calls and Groceries-to-Go as 2011-2012 Community Projects; • Emerson Process Management for sponsoring two Adopt-a-Days; • The Lowe Foundation for supporting MOWAM’s building expansion; • 3M Foundation for supporting Meals for Kids; • The Allstate Foundation Agency for granting Meals on Wheels and More a “Hands in the Community” grant; • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas for supporting Meals for Kids; • Banfield Charitable Trust for sponsoring the P.A.L.S. program

ONEOK, Inc. donates $20K to building campaign

Golf Tournament Recap: Thanks for Playing!

Harden Healthcare team from left to right: Benjamin M. Hanson, General Counsel; Blake Robbins, Executive Director, Benevolent Fund; Eric Hansum, Director of Litigation.

Andrea Torres, Vice President for Development at Meals on Wheels and More, Larry Graham, Director of Customer Service for Texas Gas Service, and Dan Pruett, President and CEO of Meals on Wheels and More. Texas Gas Service is a division of ONEOK, Inc.

Thanks to all of our sponsors and everyone who came out to our annual Meals on Wheels Golf Classic Tournament, which was held on Monday April 11, 2011 at the Lost Pines Hyatt Resort. The event raised $45,000 to provide food and other services to the homebound elderly and disabled members of our community! It was a beautiful day, and we are so grateful for everyone who participated!

Thanks to 4-year-old Elana Thanos (pictured above with Dan Pruett) for her recent generosity to Meals on Wheels and More! When Elana’s mom read an article to her from the last edition of “The Meal Times” about senior hunger, Elana immediately offered to donate the $20 she had saved in her piggy bank, which her mom generously matched. When asked why she decided to donate, she said, “Because people are hungry, and I want to help.”

Give Realty client benefits MOWAM with real estate

From left to right: Laurie Loew, Give Realty; Jeff Broussard, homebuyer; Andrea Torres, Vice President for Development at Meals on Wheels and More; Josh Flores, Team McClellan.

Austin Restaurant Week raises money for MOWAM Thanks to Austin Restaurant Week for selecting MOWAM as a co-beneficiary of the spring event, raising more than $2,500 for our clients!

“The meal is good for the stomach, and the volunteer is good for the soul.” -- Myrtle P. w w

DAN’S CORNER Dear Friends,


It has been a busy spring here at Meals on Wheels and More, and as our community weathers the triple-digit temperatures of summer, undoubtedly the most dangerous time of year for our clients, I find myself feeling grateful for the wonderful community of volunteers and supporters we have here. This newsletter contains a sad story about a volunteer who recently found one of our clients in a situation of great distress, unable to access help after her husband had passed away in their home. This volunteer was truly a saving grace for our client, as she was able to get in the home, call emergency assistance and sit with our client to comfort her until help had arrived. Stories like this reinforce for me how important our volunteers are to this community. While we certainly never wish that any volunteer would have to encounter a situation like this, I am humbled by the tremendous acts of kindness and caring that our volunteers show each and every day to the people in our city who need a helping hand. Our donors do the same, providing much-needed financial support so that we can continue to serve people in a holistic manner. As I mentioned, the summer months are especially dangerous for our clients, as the heat causes health risks and complications for so many people that we serve. We want to say thank you to everyone who has reached out recently to donate to our air conditioner and utility assistance funds so that we can help people stay safe over the next few months. To all of you who help us keep the wheels turning, you are so very appreciated.

Tim Hayden, Board Chair Blue Clover Ron Westbrook First Vice Chair Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.

Substitute Drivers Needed Summer months always bring volunteer cancellations, as people leave town for much-needed family, work or school vacations. During the summer, we rely heavily on substitute drivers to help us fill last-minute cancellations. Substitutes are contacted on an as-needed basis between 8 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. If you can help, please call us at 476-6325 today!

Handy with a Drill?

Rick Yeomans Second Vice Chair Graves Dougherty Hearon & Moody PC

Samuel Houston Secretary D.R. Horton Homes

Larry C. Buch Treasurer Office of the Attorney General Stewart Whitehead, Immediate Past Chair Winstead PC Chris Maher Fosforus Nelson S. Robinson, Ed.D. Allstate Insurance Co. Brian Tuerff BBVA Compass Bank Chris Taylor Whole Foods Market, Inc.

Bob Wynn Oxford Commercial B.J. Friedman, Ph.D. Texas State University Vivian Renfro 3M Ben Hanson Harden Healthcare, LLC

Meg Youngblood Maxwell Locke & Ritter

Norine Yukon United Healthcare

Adam Hauser Brown McCarroll, L.L.P.

Namkee Choi, Ph.D. University of Texas at Austin

Dan Pruett Meals on Wheels and More

MANAGEMENT TEAM Dan Pruett President and CEO Michael H. Goldstein Vice President, Public Policy & Advocacy Andrea Torres Vice President, Development Marsha Wier Vice President, Human Resources


Michael C. Brown, Chair Elect Texas Capital Bank, N.A.

Larry Cosper, C.P.A., Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Theresa Medlin Vice President, Volunteer Services Mary Z. Teeters Vice President, Client Services Linda Perez Assistant Vice President, Client Services

Medi Wheels Volunteers needed

We’re looking for handy Medi Wheels volunteers people to help install bathprovide rides to the doctors room safety bars in our for clients who are unable to clients’ homes this sumtransport themselves. It’s a mer. If you’re good with a flexible volunteer opportunity drill and want to help keep -- you can sign up only for seniors safe in their homes this summer, appointments that fit your please contact our Handy Wheels coordiweekday schedule between nator Kristin Organ at korgan@mealson- 9am and 3pm. If you are available to help, or call 512.476.6325 please call the Medi Wheels Coordinator at and ask for Handy Wheels. 512-476-6325, Ext. 122.

To g e t h e r, w e c a n e n d s e n i o r h u n g e r i n C e n t r a l Te x a s .


Hundreds of Seniors Waiting for Meal Services

Since Meals on Wheels and More created a waiting list for our home-delivered meal program in June 2010, the number of people on the list has doubled. A dramatic increase in the need for home delivered meal services in the Austin community necessitated Meals on Wheels and More to create a waiting list for meal services last summer. Reductions in state funding this year are expected to further impact the waiting list.

“We are getting many calls from people who are finding themselves in desperate situations with nowhere to turn,” said Dan Pruett, CEO and President of Meals on Wheels and More. “So many people in our community are suffering alone and in silence, and we need more people to step up to the plate and make a commitment to help their neighbors who are struggling with hunger.” MOWAM case workers actively monitor the conditions of those on the waiting list to ensure that those most in need are the first to receive services. Scan this code to see our latest PSA about our waiting list needs.

MOWAM IN BRIEF Mayor Lee Leffingwell volunteers for Mayors for Meals! Thanks to Mayor Lee Leffingwell for joining hundreds of mayors across the country in the annual Mayors for Meals event! On Wednesday, March 23rd, Mayor Leffingwell delivered meals to several of our clients, including Miss Ora C. pictured here.

Behold! The Ron Lantz Meatloaf!

Brigid Shea: “I get as much out of it as the clients do” Brigid Shea, a former city councilwoman, started volunteering at MOWAM five years ago after being introduced to the organization by former mayor Kirk Watson , who arranged for her to get a tour of the Meals on Wheels and More building.

Former City Councilwoman Brigid Shea with her son Charlie, 12, and their dog Chewy. Charlie and Chewy often accompany Brigid on her MOWAM meal-delivery route.

She really liked the mission, and signed up as a volunteer that day. “I have never had the sense that I am performing a charity,” said Brigid. “I get as much out of it as the clients do.”

Manuel the Milk Carton Artist

Longtime client Manuel D. shows off just one of many sculptures he’s made using the milk cartons he gets with his daily meals!

Our New Website is Live!

Recently, we made many design refreshments and navigation improvements to our website, and we hope you will stop by to visit us at And thanks to our team at Trademark Media!

To celebrate the contributions our good friend Ron Lantz has made to our organization through his involvement with the University Rotary Club, we have recently named one of our clients’ favorite dishes in his honor. From now on, the meatloaf will be hereby called the Ron Lantz Meatloaf. Thanks, Ron, for all you do for our community!

Help Keep Someone Cool this Summer Austin is on the thaw after a chilly winter, and it’s time to switch gears so we can help our clients stay cool this summer! If you’re able to donate a new fan or air conditioner, please let us know. Give us a call at 476-6325.

w w

Letters from Loved Ones A daughter shares her gratitude with us

The daughter of a client who was in desperate need of help recently sent these two letters - first to request services and then to let us know how these services made a difference. Letter One: “Recently, I moved my father to Austin after he had a long bout in the hospital in another state. He has serious health issues and suffers from severe depression. He currently weighs 128 pounds. He has no energy or ability to make himself any meals. The idea of him getting at least one nutritious, hot meal a week brings tears to my eyes. I pick him up to come and stay with me every other weekend, but I have just had a baby and can’t do much more than that right now. He lives alone and he is unable to drive in his current condition. Disability is his only form of income. Please let me know what we can do to get him in the program.” Letter Two: “Thank you so much for getting my father in the program so quickly. I just spoke to him and he sounds wonderful! I think just seeing a face everyday is very uplifting to him. He says the meals are very good and he’s eating EVERY bite, he promises me. I can’t really tell you what this means to me and my family. I’m so grateful that your program exists. I can’t wait for his next weigh in at the doctor’s – a million thank yous!”

Meet Mattie & join us online! Our client Mattie talks about how much MOWAM means to her and you can sign up for our E-News and join us on Facebook!

More Mike’s Place Fun!

Mike’s Place has had a busy spring! From left to right: Participants got to interact with some furry friends when a baby animal petting zoo came to visit; tap dancers from local group “Class Act” stopped by for a performance; and Mickey and Minnie Mouse made an appearance on Mouseketeers Day!

“Rosie and Patty” continued...

“Billie and Mark” continued...

don’t think there is anything I could ask her to do for me that she wouldn’t do it.”

While they exchange genuine confidences, Billie and Mark’s friendship also has a lighter side. “Mark really goes the extra mile,” Billie said. “He’ll usually open the bags [of food] and put the cold stuff in the fridge for me.”

Patty humbly waved away Rosie’s praise, but emphatically agreed that the two women have something special. “I just love it,” she said of her volunteer experience. Patty’s enthusiasm has even inspired Rosie to follow suit. She learned about our Care Calls program and signed up to be a phone friend. “I’ve gotten older and more problems have developed, so I am not as up to snuff like I used to be, and this lady here calls me for no reason!” she said. “I love her, I really love her. I say all the time God sent her. People don’t want to hear that, but I have faith and believe God is in this right here.”

“Yeah, that’s pretty hard work,” Mark deadpanned. “Sometimes she makes me put seed in the bird feeders, so she really works me like a slave.” Billie, a retired librarian and library sciences professor from the University of Texas, says she’s happy for the friendship. “I’m very grateful to get a nutritious meal everyday,” she said. “It takes a burden off me … and it’s been real nice getting to know Mark. I look forward to Mondays, because I know he’ll be coming. We just visit for a few minutes, but it’s been very good for me.”

“I’ve supported Meals on Wheels for a number of years, but I never thought about needing the service for myself. Thank you.”

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The Meal Times - June 2011  

The June 2011 summer edition of Meals on Wheels and More's quarterly newsletter.

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