HESSCO has approximately 500 seniors over age 60 who receive Meals on Wheels through our nutrition program. For many of these seniors, HESSCO is the primary source of their nutrition on each day they receive the meal. When there is a weather emergency, the program sometimes cannot deliver meals because the catering company or the local senior centers where we host our programs close, or the volunteers cannot safely travel the roads. To prepare for these weather events, HESSCO purchases shelf-stable emergency meals. At the start of the winter season, each senior who receives Meals on Wheels, also receives two shelf-stable emergency meals. If HESSCO cannot deliver the hot noon meal due to weather, the seniors can consume their emergency meal. If HESSCO cannot deliver hot meals for more than two days, more emergency meals are purchased and distributed. HESSCO also provides local police and fire departments with a supply of emergency meals. In 2017-2018 winter season, HESSCO provided 2000 emergency meals. HESSCO will always work to ensure no senior is hungry. The expense of the emergency meals is not funded through any federal or state program and thus, HESSCO incurs the full cost because of our commitment to serve the nutrition needs of seniors.
On Thanksgiving and Christmas, HESSCO staff, Town of Walpole School Department staff, and other community groups volunteer their time to deliver a free, hot meal to any senior in our community who is alone for the holiday. The only expense of this program is the cost of the food as all of the groups involved donate their time. These holiday meals provide the opportunity for an isolated senior to have a friendly visit with a volunteer and receive a hot, holiday meal. This program is open to any senior in the HESSCO service area who will be alone for the holiday. The opportunity to sign-up for the program is distributed to area churches, senior centers and community groups prior to both Thanksgiving and Christmas. In 2017, HESSCO delivered over 150 meals on Thanksgiving and another 150 on Christmas. The seniors who receive this meal express their gratitude through tears, hugs, smiles and holiday well-wishes. HESSCO never has difficulty finding staff and other groups to donate their time because all involved know they have made a senior a little less lonely.
SMiles is raising funds to continue providing older adults in rural Blount County the opportunity to improve their quality of life and reduce their vulnerability. Senior-friendly transportation that's affordable, adaptable and convenient keeps the elderly independent and retains their dignity once they no longer are able to drive. SMiles volunteers use their personal vehicles to take members wherever they'd like to go within this rural Tennessee county. A total of 23,000 trips have been made within the past five years, covering over 126,000 miles!
Even though volunteers provide the essential transportation for SMiles, operating costs are still present. Software, insurance, staffing, mileage reimbursements - they all add up each year. It's important that SMiles is financially sound so folks can rely on it for years' to come.
When disaster strikes a community, the Home Instead Senior Care network rallies together to support affected franchise owners, their CAREGivers and key players. Your charitable gift to the Disaster Relief Fund in honor of the Foundation's 15-year anniversary will help Home Instead CAREGivers and key players who are in need of support both immediately after a disaster and if long-term assistance is needed as part of the Disaster Hardship Assistance Grant Application program. Thank you for your contribution in support of the Home Instead staff members who always work tirelessly to care for seniors - even during disasters.
The Opportunity Center for the homeless (OC) consists of two resource centers and 7 residential centers for the elderly, single women, single men, mentally ill, veterans, and men and women in school/work programs. The need and creation of facilities devoted to the care of elderly and frail is illustrated through multiple studies across the United States that have shown a clear upward trend in the proportion of "older" persons among the homeless population. Our community (El Paso, Texas) is experiencing the same trends. The older homeless frequently fall between the cracks of governmental safety nets.
Our desire is to provide an environment that integrates shelter and service needs of the functionally impaired and/or socially isolated elders who don't need institutional supervision and/or intensive health care. As a supported, congregate shelter our programs support an environment designed to integrate shelter and service needs for the elderly and frail. The goal is to increase self-sufficiency through the provision of supported services from this funding. Services are made available through service coordinators, to aid residents in managing available, through service coordinators, to aid residents in managing activities of daily living in a supported, but not custodial environment.