When Ms. Thea’s neighbor of 20 years, Debbie, started to worry about her getting enough to eat, she knew Meals on Wheels could help. “It’s not easy for Thea to get to the grocery store or stand long enough to cook anything, and both of her children live out of state,” shares Debbie.
Ms. Thea has experienced significant changes in her health and mobility this past year, including undergoing three back surgeries. Even making her morning coffee is not as easy as it once was, especially now that she uses a walker or cane for stability.
Ms. Thea, age 78, has been an independent woman all of her life. Born and raised in the Netherlands, she’s also lived in Curacao, Chapel Hill, and Virginia. She landed in Mount Pleasant when her former husband took a job at MUSC, and recalls Bowman Road being a dirt road and the former K-mart lot (now Bowman Place) filled with nothing but palmetto trees.
She loves to garden, has fond memories of feeding the ducklings in her neighborhood, and truly values her friends. She recalled a recent gathering, where she taught them to make vegetable beef soup by offering instruction from the comfort of her chair. She says her secret ingredient, maggi, is a hard-to-find Dutch product that adds a flavor similar to soy sauce.
Ms. Thea describes her Meals on Wheels delivery drivers as “little angels in cars,” and truly looks forward to their visits each day. “All the people that come by here are so sweet. Everyone is so friendly and I’m tickled pink to see them,” shares Ms. Thea.
Ms. Thea enjoys getting to eat a bigger variety of foods thanks to the rotating menu of healthy meals, and since she has high blood pressure, she especially appreciates the meals being low sodium.
Thea and her children are so grateful for the daily safety check and the kindness shown by each volunteer. “It’s been such a relief for all of us to know that someone checks on her every day,” says Debbie.
Favorite food: Pickled tomatoes & okra
Favorite color: Blue
Favorite Hobbies: Gardening, watching old movies with Kim Novak & Jim Stewart, and reading
Favorite Family Memory: On a trip back to the Netherlands, Thea and her children enjoyed a trip to a local pancake house, where they were amazed to see dogs allowed inside a restaurant. She recalled enjoying a huge pancake, as big as a plate, topped with apples, raisins, and so much syrup!
The local nonprofit serves almost 300 recipients daily, who currently range in age from 35-98. Now through December 31, 2019, donations of $100 or more will be matched by several local partners, including:
Carroll Limited Partnership up to $1,000 of Isle of Palms donations
Feed The Need up to $10,000 of Mt. Pleasant donations
Daniel Island Community Fund up to $5,000 of Daniel Island donations
Edward and Sallie Pritchard up to $2,000 of Sullivan’s Island donations
During the holiday season, the organization works especially hard to ensure that no homebound neighbor is forgotten or hungry. East Cooper Meals on Wheels serves anyone who is homebound and cannot prepare a meal, including people of any age and any income level. Because the organization is 100% funded through community support, contributions ensure that the organization can continue its mission of delivering more than a meal to residents of Daniel Island, Mt. Pleasant, Sullivan’s Island, Isle of Palms, Cainhoy, and Wando. There is never a waiting list and never a charge for meals. Anyone can refer a friend, family member, neighbor, or themselves to begin receiving meals—call 843.881.9350, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.ecmow.org.