The Duncanville Knights and Meals on Wheels
[dropcaps] N [/dropcaps] early every man who joins the Knights of Columbus states that they “want to give back to the community” or “want to help people in the community”. According to the Visiting Nurses Association of Texas’ Volunteer Handbook, Meals on Wheels began in London, England in World War II during the battle of Britain. The Women’s Council began Meals on Wheels in Dallas in 1957, and the Visiting Nurses Association assumed responsibility for the program’s administration in Dallas County in 1972. Initially, 125 meals were delivered each weekday; but today more than 4,000 meals are delivered each day (Monday through Friday) in Dallas County. The mission of Meals on Wheels is to “insure that no senior goes hungry or forgotten”.
The basic eligibility requirements for recipients are:
- be 60 years old or disabled
- be unable to drive or leave home without assistance
- have limited financial resources, and
- live in Dallas County
Currently, approximately half of the meals delivered in Dallas County are delivered by paid drivers; and that’s why the contributions of the Duncanville Knights of Council #8157 are so significant. Every time a volunteer driver takes over a paid driver’s route (usually about 10 clients), enough money is saved to provide Meals on Wheels to another qualified senior; and there are approximately 1,800 qualified seniors currently on a waiting list to receive Meals on Wheels. For more information log onto www.vna.org.
Allen Reitmeier, Ed O’Brien, Mike Rumsey, Jack Ramsden, Dan Murphy, Ray Rivera, and Jim Kowalski from the Duncanville Knights of Columbus Council 8157 have answered the call to help people in the community. There is a real connection with the community when a Knight hands a meal to someone. Your time and effort given to help someone are not going to a person located in a remote place like Haiti, or Japan, or the Philippines, or in New York; but rather right there in front of you. Ed O’Brien says “it’s a very good feeling knowing you are helping someone in the community”. Dan Murphy says “it’s fantastic to help others”. Reitmeier says “it’s more than just handing out a meal; it’s the connection with those in need. After a while you think of your clients as your friend – a most rewarding experience”. Smiles and “thank you’s” are the only payment received by these volunteer drivers.
These 7 Knights each deliver meals once a week and deliver a total of approximately 78 meals to needy seniors and disabled persons in the Holy Spirit Church parish area each week. What a mighty effort by these noble Knights!!