OLEAN - The Cattaraugus County Department of the Aging's Meals on Wheels program won $100 from the Meals on Wheels Association of America (MOWAA) and Subaru's "Share the Love" grant program. The winning essay, which follows this news release, describes how Mr. M. was delivered a noon meal to his car, where he went every day to get warm, because he was without heat and electric. The CCDOA is now entering the next phase of the holiday competition which relies on getting the most Facebook users to "Like" the story. Winning that portion of the contest could earn our local Meals on Wheels program up to an additional $500.
The money comes at a critical time for this Meals on Wheels program, and more than 140 other grant winners nationwide. The country's economic downturn has made it more difficult to raise money to continue feeding our community's homebound and other hungry seniors. The CCDOA plans to use the money to purchase new delivery containers for the Meals on Wheels program.
The MOWAA/Subaru "Share the Love" grant is tied to Subaru's "Share the Love Event." The "Share the Love Event" will run until Jan. 3. Subaru will donate $250 for every new Subaru vehicle sold or leased to the customer's choice of one of five charities, including the Meals on Wheels Association of America.
The next phase of the competition relies on getting the most Facebook users to "Like" this story. More than 140 "Share the Love" essays from programs across the country have been posted to MOWAA's member blog. The Meals on Wheels program with the most "Likes" will win an additional $500. Those placing second through 10th will receive an additional $250. The "Like" the local essay submitted for this Facebook contest, go to mowaablog.org and search "Cattaraugus County Department of the Aging."
The Cattaraugus County Department of the Aging winning essay is as follows:
"Mr. M., a 79-year-old single man without family or supports, was referred to the Cattaraugus County Department of the Aging in December of 2009. At that time, Mr. M. was living in a 100-year-old farmhouse in a very rural part of the county. He had been living without heat, electric, or water. Mr. M. spent many hours of the daylight sitting in his car getting warm. Mr. M. had suffered a stroke to his left side several years previously that left him blind in his right eye.
The home was structurally sound; however, was cluttered with several feet of garbage. When Mr. M. was questioned about his ability to cook hot food, he stated he had not been able to cook in months and was living on packaged cold food.
A hot home-delivered meal was delivered to Mr. M. in his car. Additionally, services and equipment were provided by the community to assist in getting his home repaired. A local university student group volunteered their time to help clean out the garbage.
Giving Mr. M. back his dignity and improving his quality of life is proof that no senior will go hungry and has the right to basic living standards."