We are in the season of “merry and bright” but for some of us who have lost loved ones, this time of year isn’t always merry and bright, and that is okay. Gratitude practices are well known for their ability to fight a case of the blues. When you’re feeling down or stressed out, it’s the best time to focus on the things in you’re life that your grateful for. Practicing gratitude can lift our spirits and improve our overall happiness levels. Here are 6 ways you can practice gratitude:
Volunteer to Deliver Meals on Wheels with us! Diving into new, positive experiences is a surefire way to practice gratitude. Delivering meals is such a treat. The client interactions are pleasant, the drive through Liberty/Dayton is easy, and the meals leave a yummy smell in your vehicle. What’s not to like? Sign up here.
Early Morning Musings As soon as you wake up in the morning and before you get out of bed, identify five things in your life that you’re grateful for. There is no better way to start the day than thinking about the people and things in your life that you appreciate.
Handwritten Notes Try to make this an actual handwritten note that you can send in the mail or leave at someone’s desk or leave on someone’s car or doorstep. Make it warm and detailed. Tell them how they make you feel and how special they are to you. Not only will it be the highlight of their day, it’ll also make you feel good and bring you closer together.
Gratitude Journal Keep a daily journal, and at the same time every day (morning or bedtime), write down three things in your life that you’re grateful for and why — this can be anything from family members, to a safe and warm home or something great you did that day.
Mealtime Musings and Prayer Before you eat your next meal, consider recognizing how many steps the food had to travel before getting onto your plate. Give thanks to the farmers, the transportation, the grocery employees, or anyone who prepared the meal — picture each of these steps and people along the way, giving thanks for their contribution to your meal. This is a perfect group or family gratitude practice for Thanksgiving Day. Try doing one of these practices every day for 30 days straight and notice how it makes you feel!
Looking for ways to give back during the holidays? I hope this post inspires you and gets you and your family into the spirit of giving!
Today the holidays seem to be more and more about getting than giving gifts. Gifts, gifts and more gifts! We are inundated with ads promoting consumerism on a daily basis. For every two posts you scroll past on Facebook an ad appears. The true meaning of the season has been overshadowed with toys and technology. This year, lets vow to do more giving than getting.
Here are 15 ways to give back locally this season.
Volunteer to deliver meals with us! Delivering for meals on wheels will be the most rewarding part of your week. We deliver hot meals to home-bound senior citizens in our community who have difficulty preparing their own meals! Sometimes, we are the only people they interact with all day. There is something so special about being able to provide a hot meal to someone! Why wait for Thanksgiving to volunteer at a soup kitchen, when you can DELIVER a hot meal every day of the week! Sign up here.
Host a Canned Food Drive Join with us in collecting canned food to provide supplemental food to our neighbors in need! We are partnering with Liberty and Dayton ISD to make this drive a success this year so kids can participate as well! Find more information about this drive and our convenient drop of locations here.
Decorate Lunch Sacksfor Meals on Wheels When we deliver meals to our neighbors, we often have items like hot rolls or bananas along with the meal in a sealed tray and having paper sacks to transport the items from the car to our neighbor makes the process so much easier! Plus, it really brightens their day to receive the decorated sacks! Many of our clients even save the bags and have them hanging on their wall as art! If interested, buy standard size lunch sacks from your local grocery store or order from Amazon and decorate as many as you would like for us! You can drop off the decorated sacks at our office in the Choir Room of the First United Methodist Church in Liberty or at the Dayton Community Center office located inside Jones Public Library in Dayton!
Host a Christmas or Thanksgiving Dinner at your Church Many of our neighbors do not have local family or friends to spend the holidays with. Reach out to your local church about hosting an event and promoting the attendance of those who don’t have plans for the holiday season! Offer to pick up and bring friends to the dinner!
Bake Some Love Everyone loves receiving baked goods! Get out your favorite recipes and bake cookies for friends or neighbors! Deliver them with a card letting them know how much you care about them!
Give Casseroles The holidays are busy for everyone! With all the rushing, planning, shopping and hosting, everyone could use a casserole, especially if you deliver it frozen so they can heat and eat it later! Cover your favorite casserole with foil and write the heating instructions on top!
Stuff Stockings For an easy and inexpensive gift, stop by your local dollar store and pick up stockings and fill with toiletries! Bonus if they are travel size, which are always handy to have!
Decorate Windows Contact your local nursing home and offer to decorate the windows of resident’s rooms! This will surely brighten their day!
Christmas Caroling Everyone loves carolers! Visit nursing homes, hospitals, or senior centers and offer to carol!
Grab a name off an Angel Tree Wal-Mart and some local grocery stores still participate in Angel Trees! Grab a name of a kiddo off the tree and fulfill their Christmas wish!
Donate a Book to the Library Do you have a favorite book that you and your family love to read during the holiday season? Buy it in hardback and donate it to your local library! Share the joy of the season with many others for years to come!
Donate Supplies to Teachers Many teachers use their own money for classroom supplies. They are constantly creating and crafting new games and activities to keep their students engaged! Contact your local school to get their wishlist items!
Give Craft Supplies to a Day Care Are you a pinterest queen or king? Find a fun and easy holiday craft and get the supplies needed to complete it. Write down the instructions and deliver the craft kit to your local daycare. The teachers will appreciate it so much! As long as is it doesn’t involve glitter! Ha!
Volunteer to hand out food with local food pantry If you live in Dayton, Cleveland or Liberty there are three different locations to volunteer at! The dWELLing in Liberty hands out food at the football stadium, the Dayton Community Center hands out food at their center and the Trinity River Food Bank also hands out food at their main location on Houston Street. Follow these groups on social media to find out their dates and times.
Let’s give back together this season! Got more ideas? I would love to hear them! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Hannah Taylor, Executive Director GRACE Initiative
We are hosting a Thanksgiving food drive to supplement the meals our seniors receive in November! Participate by dropping off canned vegetables, stew or soup to the Dayton Community Center or our Meals on Wheels Office located in the detached choir hall at the back of the First United Methodist Church in Liberty!
Want to do more? Decorate some place mats for us to deliver with the canned goods! Home-made artwork really brightens their day! Contact our office to drop off your place mats in time for Thanksgiving delivery! We have 100 clients we serve; however, we will accept any quantity of place mats you make and combine with those from other organizations to ensure each senior receives one!
During “March for Meals” celebrated this year, our program was awarded a $9,000 Challenge Grant and given one calendar year to raise the funds.
The annual March for Meals celebration commemorates the historic day on March 22, 1972, when President Nixon signed into law a measure that amended the Older Americans Act of 1965 to include a national nutrition program for seniors 60 years and older. This year, Meals on Wheels programs from across the country joined forces for the awareness campaign and to celebrate 50 years of success to garner the support needed to ensure these critical programs can continue to address food insecurity and malnutrition, combat social isolation, enable independence, and improve health for years to come. Programs from across the country have celebrated the month of March since 2002 to increase awareness for Meals on Wheels and recruit the support needed to meet rising demand.
Thanks to our generous supporters like you, since March we received $9,000 in new donations from the community and we have reached our goal!
We will now receive a matching donation of $9,000 from the Carl Anderson Foundation to cover expenses associated with feeding seniors in Dayton, Texas!
Through a partnership with the Dayton Community Center and City of Dayton, we provide hot meals five days a week for home-bound seniors in Dayton, Texas!
Thanks to all of our supporters for helping make this happen! Celebrate with us by sending a free card with a special message from you to a senior. Click below and we will print your greeting along with the card and deliver it with their meal this month!
Join our initiative by helping us provide a new towel set for our senior neighbors!
Sets will include a washcloth, hand towel and bath towel.
Shop our Amazon link below or drop off sets to our office at the First United Methodist Church choir hall located at 539 Main Street in Liberty anytime between 8:30-Noon, Monday through Friday! Towel sets will be delivered to clients with their meals the week before Christmas! If you would like to ride along to help deliver, please contact Hannah at 281-622-0528 or email@example.com to arrange a date to deliver.
A local sewing club in Cleveland, Texas will monogram each towel with the initials of each Meals on Wheels client!
Today, Jiffy Lube, an industry leader in vehicle maintenance for more than 40 years, and Meals on Wheels America, the leadership organization supporting community-based programs dedicated to addressing senior hunger and isolation, announce a national collaboration as part of Jiffy Lube’s Drive To Do More initiative. The affiliation will extend the brand’s commitment to vehicle maintenance by supporting fundraising efforts and volunteer recognitions that help keep the Meals on Wheels fleet on the road delivering meals to seniors in need.
“Jiffy Lube is committed to service – in terms of both helping drivers maintain their vehicles and giving back to the local communities in which we live and work,” said Sara Smith, CMO of Jiffy Lube International, Inc. “We are especially excited about our relationship with Meals on Wheels America as we are serving those who serve others by helping keep their vehicle on the road so they can continue to change the lives of seniors across the country.”
Drive to Do More with Meals on Wheels reflects a multi-faceted approach toward making a positive difference in communities. Jiffy Lube will recognize and reward Meals on Wheels volunteers who go above and beyond throughout the year. Additionally, Meals on Wheels staff and volunteers will receive a special discount on vehicle maintenance services to help keep their vehicles road ready. Jiffy Lube and its franchisees will also launch an in-store fundraising event during the month of October to raise monies to help provide meals and more – just in time for the holiday season.
“Meals on Wheels volunteers give more than just their time when they sign up for a route; they often commit their personal vehicles to deliver meals to homebound grandparents, veterans, and neighbors in their communities,” said Kristine Templin, Chief Development Officer of Meals on Wheels America. “We are delighted to work with Jiffy Lube to honor these local heroes who help ensure seniors at risk of hunger and isolation are not forgotten.”
The Meals on Wheels nationwide network of 5,000+ community-based senior nutrition programs is fueled by volunteers who deliver nutritious meals, friendly visits, and safety checks to more than 2.4 million homebound seniors annually. Based on a survey distributed to 1,000 local programs, each Meals on Wheels program, on average, depends on volunteers and staff to drive 1,500 miles per week to complete all of their delivery routes.
The Impact of Drive To Do More
With more than 2,000 service centers across the U.S., Jiffy Lube and its franchisees have raised millions of dollars to help make a difference in the lives of others. With the launch of Drive To Do More in 2019, the brand extended its philanthropic efforts to provide support to volunteers who rely on their vehicles to give back in their communities. Additionally, Jiffy Lube franchisees are committed to numerous charitable causes in their local markets – ranging from education and health to youth development and food security. The new, national relationship expands both Meals on Wheels America and Jiffy Lube’s reach and ability to transform lives, have a more meaningful impact, and create a community of strength, hope, and resilience.
Smith added, “Jiffy Lube and its franchisees are passionate about giving back as every dollar donated, every minute volunteered and every mile driven can make a positive impact in the lives of others.”
About Meals on Wheels America Meals on Wheels America is the leadership organization supporting the more than 5,000 community-based programs across the country that are dedicated to addressing senior isolation and hunger. This network serves virtually every community in America and, along with an estimated two million staff and volunteers, delivers the nutritious meals, friendly visits and safety checks that enable America’s seniors to live nourished lives with independence and dignity. By providing funding, leadership, education, research and advocacy support, Meals on Wheels America empowers its local member programs to strengthen their communities, one senior at a time.
About Jiffy Lube
Founded over 40 years ago, Jiffy Lube serves approximately 20 million customers each year at more than 2,000 franchised service centers across North America. Jiffy Lube pioneered the fast oil change industry in 1979 by establishing the first drive-through service bay, providing customers with fast, professional service for their vehicles. The company continues to lead the industry with the evolution of its business model, Jiffy Lube Multicare, which offers oil changes, brakes, batteries, and tires as well as other services consumers want and need. Headquartered in Houston, Jiffy Lube is a wholly owned, indirect subsidiary of Shell USA, Inc. Visit www.JiffyLube.com to learn more about Jiffy Lube and vehicle care.
Thank you for your generous and continued support of South Liberty County Meals on Wheels. Over the past year and during a pandemic, you have made taking care of our homebound seniors a priority. A tangled web of government bureaucracy delayed significant funding for our program during the first quarter of 2021. However, because of supporters like you, we had enough funds in the bank to continue feeding our elderly with no interruption in services.
The main funding source for our local Meals on Wheels program is through a partnership with the Houston Galveston Area on Aging Council (HGAC). Each month, South Liberty County Meals on Wheels receives reimbursements from HGAC for a certain amount of meals. Our county’s allotment is divided between South Liberty County Meals on Wheels and Cleveland’s Meals on Wheels program.
Due to the CARES Act and the Families First Act, our funding stream was switched. Fast forward a couple of months and the new funding stream ran out of money. Simply put, we were told by HGAC there was confusion of “where the money was at,” they were backlogged and that *eventually* we would be reimbursed.
But because of our community’s fantastic, consistent support, our Board of Directors did not have to panic. We did not have to hurriedly try to raise funds to cover the lapse. We did not have to cut services. All we had to do was cut a check (several of them).
Thank you. Thank you on behalf of the 65+ clients whom you serve daily. Thank you on behalf of our delivery drivers who volunteer each week to deliver a hot meal and a smile. You are helping keep our seniors happy and healthy.
Kim Stegall, Executive Director
Board of Directors: Emily Cook Mike Allison Lori Williams Cecilia Longoria
We are proud to report that we delivered 1,104 meals in November 2020 and in December of 2020, we delivered 1,064 meals. We are thankful to the generous support from the community, as well as the as the tireless efforts of our volunteers! If you would like to partner with Meals on Wheels of South Liberty County as a volunteer, you can call (936)-641-2846 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Our office is now staffed Monday through Wednesday from 8 am to 10 am. We look forward to hearing from you! To donate, you can go to www.libertymeals.com to give online, or mail your donation to
In January, the Liberty County Housing Authority partnered with the South Liberty County Meals on Wheels program to provide a grant of $5,000 earlier this year. The grant’s purpose is to cover shelf-stable meals for our homebound elderly. The money came from a funding stream the housing authority had for disaster-related costs within the county. Due to frequent flooding making transport to some of our clients difficult, our meals on wheels program often must deliver shelf stable meals in lieu of daily, hot meals. The particular challenge locally is that the amount of times per year that Meals on Wheels must deliver shelf stable meals outpaces the amount of allotted meals the program is reimbursed for through the Houston Galveston Agency on Aging Council. These funds from the Liberty County Housing Authority will greatly aid in our service to some of our most vulnerable citizens.
Pictured (L-R): Klint Bush, Chairman of Liberty County Housing Authority; Delores Moore, Executive Director of Liberty County Housing Authority; Meals on Wheels board members, Maxine Domain, Emily Cook (also board member of the Liberty County Housing Authority), Terri Bivins, Pam Milentz and Mike Allison.