Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Support NHPR with a year-end gift today for 2 chances to win a trip to Aruba!

Giving Matters: A Hot Meal and a Warm Smile

Rich-Kern; NHPR
David Gilmour loads the car before his rounds.

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.

You make NHPR possible.

NHPR is nonprofit and independent. We rely on readers like you to support the local, national, and international coverage on this website. Your support makes this news available to everyone.

Give today. A monthly donation of $5 makes a real difference.