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Help Meals on Wheels, other agencies on ‘Giving Tuesday’

By Hugh Fisher

hugh.fisher@salisburypost.com

Meals on Wheels of Rowan hopes you’ll help celebrate Giving Tuesday.

The new movement encourages people around the world to give money or volunteer their time for charities, community outreach organizations and more.

It’s described as “a global day of giving that harnesses the collective power of individuals, communities and organizations to encourage philanthropy and to celebrate generosity worldwide.”

Organizers chose the Tuesday after Thanksgiving to pair the event with now-traditional shopping days popularized by the media, “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday.”

For Rita Sims, executive director of Meals on Wheels of Rowan, Giving Tuesday is a natural fit for her organization’s mission.

“It’s a season of giving, and what better way to give than to provide a meal for someone?” Sims said. “People are always looking for ways to give, and so we thought we would show them a way to make a difference in our community.”

The need is great right now, Sims said. The local Meals on Wheels is serving 221 meals a day on average, up nearly 12 percent from the end of 2014.

“We’ve got waiting lists on some of our routes,” Sims said. “There’s not enough volunteers to deliver meals.”

And there’s where “Giving Tuesday” differs from other charitable appeals. To participate, you don’t have to give money.

“Perhaps there are people who can give time, which is equally as valuable,” Sims said. “It takes about 39 people every day just for us to deliver the meals.”

Monetary gifts are helpful, since many Meals on Wheels clients cannot afford the full cost of the meals, she said.

“People need our services all the time, throughout the year, not just at Thanksgiving or at Christmas,” Sims said.

Since 1976, Meals on Wheels of Rowan has delivered more than food, she said.

“It’s a friendly visit, someone taking time to stay a few minutes and speak,” Sims said.

Almost all local Meals on Wheels clients are elderly. “Many of our clients don’t have family connections, don’t have someone to visit them. So, this lets them know there’s somebody outside who cares about them,” Sims said.

More information on “Giving Tuesday” is available online at givingtuesday.org.

To learn about donation and volunteer opportunities with Meals on Wheels of Rowan, visit mowrowannc.org or call 704-633-0352.

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