Over the past four months, I’ve had the pleasure of working with the incredible folks at Galveston Island Meals on Wheels and learning the ins and outs of what makes this organization so very special.

More than 5,000 community-based Meals on Wheels programs serve homebound Americans throughout our country. But in my somewhat biased opinion, ours is the best — for many reasons.

First and foremost, the community support we receive is phenomenal. Did you know that all of our meals are delivered entirely by volunteers?

Every Monday through Friday, holidays included, 16 community members arrive at Moody Methodist Church to pick up and deliver nearly 200 hot, noontime meals to homebound elderly and disabled Galvestonians.

These volunteers deliver more than just a meal — they also deliver a smile to some of our Island’s most vulnerable citizens.

Another unique facet of our organization is that we don’t receive government funding of any kind — not federal, state or local. This was one of our founding principles, and we’ve grown our program from delivering just 10 meals a week in 1974 to delivering over 50,000 meals a year today, all with the generous support of private donors, local grants and successful fundraising events.

With 89.4 percent of our meal recipients unable to afford the cost of their meals, this support is vital to continuing our mission, and even more important as we continue to grow.

Galveston Island Meals on Wheels delivers meals only to Galveston residents. The team at Interfaith Ministries in Texas City services Galveston County, but our mission remains focused on the island.

As a fifth generation BOI (Born on the Island) married to a fourth generation BOI, it’s heartwarming to see so many volunteers, donors and board members working day-in and day-out to improve the lives of individuals right here in our hometown.

If you’re looking for ways to get involved, we’d love to meet you. Our website, mealsonwheelsgalveston.org, has more information on volunteering or donating, plus we have two fun events coming up — our annual Fall Regatta on Oct. 21 and our annual Rev. Ray Pinard Golf Tournament on Nov. 22, both at the Galveston Country Club — and we’d love to have you attend.

It brings me immense joy to work with the incredible staff and team at Galveston Island Meals on Wheels, and I hope you’ll consider helping us make an impact on Galveston Island.

Lauren Suderman Millo is executive director of Galveston Island Meals on Wheels Inc.

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