Ranch & Coast Magazine

December 2023

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Page 49 of 147

PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF MEALS ON WHEELS SAN DIEGO Always a Time of Need Shining a light on organizations that rise to the challenge across San Diego and beyond Feeding Independence Providing healthy, home-delivered meals to San Diego seniors and veterans is no small undertaking, but it's one that Meals on Wheels San Diego County tackles daily with the help of thousands of volunteers. e numbers, though, tell the whole story. "Right now, we're doing about 630,000 meals a year to homebound seniors," says President and CEO Brent Wakefield, adding, "It's a pretty extraordinary event for an organization that has 98 employees." How such a feat is even remotely possible is due to the astounding number of volunteers — 3,100 in total — who donate their time to each deliver meals to between six and ten homebound seniors age 60 and up and disabled veterans of any age for every day of the year. It's not just about getting the meals delivered, however. "About 50 percent of our clients live alone," says Wakefield. "So really, those are the two big issues we deal with: nutrition and isolation." When the Meals on Wheels volunteer is the only person a meal recipient sees in a day, as is often the case, it not only becomes D ESPITE EFFORTS, EXPERTISE, and the best of intentions, there is almost inevitably a gap between the vast spectrum of need that exists everywhere and the people, programs, and organizations that strive to address it. Fortunately, San Diego's robust nonprofit world is historically well-supported in its efforts to positively impact issues affecting people, animals, the environment, the arts, and more within a generous and actively charitable local community. And though acts of charity are often defined as those three magic "T"s — Time, Talent, and Treasure — the reality is that it's the treasure that is often the most deeply needed. e list of all the things we wish we could fix and those we hope to help is long, and no single contribution is likely to be a magic remedy. But here's the beauty of it: Philanthropy doesn't depend solely on one person, but rather the concept that through shared compassion and generosity, we can make a difference. In their mission to do just that, a handful of local organizations have captured our interest and our hearts in this season of giving. BY DEANNA MURPHY Focus philanthropy Meals on Wheels relies on roughly 3,100 volunteers to deliver nutritious meals to San Diego County homebound seniors and veterans ranchandcoast.com 50 DECEMBER 2023 RANCH & COAST MAGAZINE Meals on Wheels relies on roughly 3,100 volunteers to deliver nutritious meals to San Diego County homebound seniors and veterans

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