Where does the money go? That's the number one asked question when donating or fundraising. Donors do not want their money going to high paid executives, huge office buildings, private jets or expensive vacations. Donors want their money to do good things, to help people and to make a difference where and when it matters. Increasingly, donors want to know where and how their dollars are spent. United Way of Crookston prides itself on keeping the money you give in the community because those are the needs we know and that we can best help.
Two of the programs we fund are Riverview's Home Delivered Meals and LSS Meals on Wheels, both provide nutritious meals at little to no cost to our neighbors who may be unable to cook for themselves, both on a long and short term basis. Volunteers that deliver these meals are often the only human contact some of the recipients have on a daily basis. These interactions not only provide nutrition for the body, but for the soul as well. Clients include someone recovering from surgery or illness who simply can't do their own cooking for a while, elderly neighbors who want to stay in their homes as long as they can but cooking is harder than it used to be or a person with a physical or mental impairment that makes cooking difficult or challenging. All of these people benefit greatly from the simple act of a delivered meal that they can afford. The independence and freedom that this service provides enables more independent living and the dignity that provides.
The volunteers also can act as a welfare check for the clients as well, if the door is not answered when the meals is delivered, those volunteers notify the agency who then checks on that client to make sure all is well. A client suffering a medical emergency could go without life saving assistance if no one comes to their house for a few days at a time, but with these programs, someone is there every day to interact and say hello. A short conversation, a face to face greeting and maybe a hug can make a huge impact on someone housebound, recovering from illness or simply experiencing some isolation. We have all felt alone and isolated over the past couple of years but knew it would pass. For some of our neighbors, it doesn't pass and the isolation can be constant and debilitating and having that contact can change everything.
Home Delivered Meals and Meals on Wheels are about so much more than food, they are about connections, personal relationships and simple human contact. The United Way of Crookston is honored to be a part of two such important programs in our community both as a funding source and as volunteers.