When we say we want to “give back” to our community, we mean it. In our Charlottesville office, one way we “give back” is through our participation with the Community Meals on Wheels program. We help in a number of different ways; one way is helping with delivery service on a monthly basis. Every month, on our scheduled day, one of us from the Charlottesville office goes to the Kluge Children’s Rehabilitation Center to pick up meals for delivery. Hot, nutritious meals are prepared by a registered dietitian to meet each client’s dietary needs. We load the neatly packed meals in our cars, and then off we go to knock on doors and make the deliveries.
Some recipients are slow to answer the door due to disabilities; some just leave a note on the door to say they are okay. But when they answer the door, it’s clear they are happy to see a smiling face at the door. For many of the recipients, this may be the only outside communication so it’s always a pleasure for us to take time to inquire how they are doing, and it’s nice to know we’ve brightened someone else’s day with our visit.
In addition to donating our time, the members of the law firm of Allen & Allen also help by sponsoring the web site for the Charlottesville chapter of Meals on Wheels. We also help by producing and distributing their electronic newsletter.
My firm enjoys our involvement with Meals on Wheels. Nationally, Community Meals on Wheels, Inc. is an independent, non-profit organization, founded in 1977 by Church Women United. Meals are delivered at lunchtime every Monday through Friday, including all holidays that fall on weekdays. The Charlottesville Meals on Wheels program has a volunteer workforce of almost 200 people, and serves meals to between 180 and 200 clients in the city of Charlottesville, the urban part of Albemarle County, the Scottsville and Esmont areas, and portions of western Albemarle.
Meals on Wheels relies on contributions from individuals, businesses, and organizations in our community to support its home-delivered meals program; there is no state or federal funding. Some clients pay the full cost of their meals. For others who are over sixty and meet their eligibility requirements, the Jefferson Area Board for Aging (JABA) provides some subsidies.
Meals on Wheels provides a source of daily social contact for people who would otherwise be alone. It also allows for earlier release from hospitals and long term care facilities and helps in keeping elderly and disabled persons out of institutions altogether. The organization can help older married couples to remain together and gives many people the opportunity to live in their own homes for longer periods of time. Because volunteers check on meal recipients every day, people who live alone can feel safe, knowing that someone would notice if anything were to happen to them.
The Charlottesville office of Allen, Allen, Allen and Allen is dedicated to supporting Meals on Wheels both financially as well as with our time every month to deliver meals. We also helped raise money by sponsoring a casual “jeans day” in our office in June; in return for a donation, staff were allowed to dress casually, and the donations supported Meals on Wheels.
 See http://www.cvillemeals.org/.
 If you are interested in helping this very worthwhile charity, please contact them at http://www.cvillemeals.org/help.html.