…. thru Interfaith Ministries and aniMeals on Wheels
Emily Strohm, Giraffe, Millie Gramm, Hillary Gramm & Heather Mann
Who would have thought that ten years ago someone would decide that persons depending on Meals on Wheels for human contact as well as a hot meal, might also struggle to care for their four-legged companions? When volunteers at Interfaith Ministries began to notice that their clients were sharing their meals with their companion dogs and cats, the organization got busy and began aniMeals on Wheels. Sharing their meals with their companions was not healthy for their clients or their companions, so the natural solution was to provide pet food as well.
Now, aniMeals provides companion meals to close to 600 Seniors and more than 1200 pets. They distribute 5 tons of food as well as kitty litter, donated toys, catnip, treats like biscuits and kitty nibbles and keep 200 volunteers busy visiting their clients and companions weekly. By providing this wonderful service, homebound and elderly clients benefit from the improved quality of life benefits of having and caring for a beloved pet.
Though Meals on Wheels currently receives funding from the government to help sustain this vital service, they are completely dependent on donations to keep aniMeals going. I was fortunate to get to ride along with the Volunteer Coordinator for aniMeals on Wheels, Heather Mann (far right) and Volunteers
Hillary Gramm, Big Sister (through Big Brothers – Big Sisters of America bbbs.org) to Emily Strom, (far left) a Sophomore at Texas City High School, and Millie Gramm and her assistant Giraffe. Hillary, Emily and Millie volunteer to bring food and a friendly face to Texas City aniMeals clients each month. As we drove, they talked to me about each client as if they were family; singing their praises, laughing about their pets. It was a warm and wonderful experience. I learned in talking with their clients how very important the service is to these people who, in other circumstance, would be unable to care for their pets properly.
Equally important is the visit. Emily’s vivacious personality and warm smile lights up each time the door is answered and the response from the clients is joy, plain and simple. How simple a gift is a smile and a kind word. It costs us nothing and can be priceless to the recipient. I continue to be amazed at the wealth of kindness that flows so freely on The Mainland. Across the Mainland, from Texas City to La Marque to Bacliff & San Leon to Santa Fe Hitchcock, Dickinson and League city, there are close to 90 pets that are fed up to 720 pounds of food through aniMeals with another 20 on the Island which receives all their pet food from the Galveston Island Humane Society.
In total aniMeals feeds more than 1100 animals over 9,000 pounds of pet food. If you would like more information on how you can help this very important service, you can contact Heather Mann at713-533-4936, or email her at firstname.lastname@example.orgLearn more about Interfaith Ministries at www.imgh.org