Giving Matters: A Hot Meal and a Warm Smile
St. Joseph Community Services provides Meals on Wheels to residents in need in Hillsboro County. David Gilmour is a retired physician who has been delivering meals for more than a decade.
Gilmour: A very wise person once told me, ‘if you really want to be concerned with those less fortunate than yourself, you’ve got to rub shoulders with them.” So putting a hot meal in their hand and giving them a warm smile is rubbing shoulders.
I have a spectrum of elderly and younger people who are poor and have some disability, so they’re basically housebound. I’m also checking on their well-being, and their physical health.
There was an incident where I came in and an elderly person had fallen and couldn’t stand up. She hurt in several places and couldn’t even remember falling. That was not a good situation. So I called 9-1-1, the ambulance came and she went to the hospital. If I hadn’t happened to come along with my hot meal, she would have been there longer.
For many of the people I see, I’m the only person they see. I have three blind people [on my route] and mine is the only person’s voice they hear all day long. They want to talk, so it's important for me not to be in a rush and stand there and talk for a few minutes.
So if they receive a hot meal and a warm smile, and if I just look things over and make sure they’re doing OK, that helps keep them home and not have to be institutionalized.