December 30, 2020
The most challenging and unique Share the Love event is winding down, and I would like to take tune to not only thank Subaru of America for sharing the love with Meals on Wheels each year, but to also talk about how this year has affected our program and thank Meals on Wheels America for their support through the COVID Pandemic.
Share the Love this year has been different. Our usual partner event with Rohrman Subaru was not able to take place. There was no big pre-delivery reception. There were no gift bags this year. However, that does not mean that love was not shared! As a substitute for our Bob Rohrman Subaru day of delivery for Share the Love, we opted for a safer "drive-thru" stuff the trunk event outdoors. Luckily the weather cooperated and it was a mild 50 degrees in the middle of December. The items that were collected were used to prepare emergency food sacks for over 200 consumers to have available in the event we need to close for inclimate weather, or any other reason. Upon arriving, the staff made sure to go out of their way to let us know how much they were going to miss delivering meals this year. However, upon arriving to the event, there were surprisingly over a hundred cans of soup already underneath the tree at Bob Rohrman Subaru, and we ended up with more than enough cans of food to help stuff our emergency food sacks full this year! We would like to not only thank Bob Rohrman Subaru and their staff for hosting this outdoor event for us so that we could still do SOMETHING, but we also want to thank the individuals that showed up to donate to the cause. They went above and beyond, and the willingness of this community to help any way they can never ceases to amaze me. Bob Rohrman Subaru is a staple for philanthropy in our community and they do so much to promote Subaru of America's Love Promise locally. It is because of events like the Subaru Share the Love event that our community comes out to help, so we are forever thankful that Subaru of America puts on this event each and every year.
During the Share the Love event, for every new vehicle leased or purchased in the specified timeframe, Subaru of America will donate $250 to the charity you select. Meals on Wheels of course is one of them. Each year for Share the Love, we partner with Bob Rohrman Subaru to raise awareness for Meals on Wheels, and to help get consumers in new vehicles. This in turn helps Subaru of America share the love with not only us, but the other charities as well! So from the bottom of our hearts, thank you Subaru of America and Bob Rohrman Subaru, for making this time of year exciting for our consumers at Meals on Wheels Greater Lafayette.
As I said above, it has been a challenging year for everyone. We experienced a 43% increase in the number of individuals we serve due to the pandemic, and that increase happened in the span of less than 2 months. When you pair that with the fact that we had suspended our volunteer delivery, and utilized only our staff to deliver our routes, making sure it was the same staff member delivering the same route every day to reduce exposure to our consumers, it created quite a logistics challenge for us. We made the best of the situation, however, and I am proud to say that our staff made sure that our consumers never missed a meal and we are extremely proud of that. However this couldn't have been possible without the support of some very important players.
First I would like to thank Meals on Wheels America for their support, not only through communications, but financially as well. They were able to provide us with much needed funding to handle the initial burst of new consumers. We are grateful to be a part of Meals on Wheels America.
Next, I would like to thank the United Way of Greater Lafayette for their support. Thanks to our United Way, over 30 consumers had their meals covered for October-December through a grand they awarded us. We are proud to be a program of a United Way agency.
I would also like to thank the Community Foundation of Greater Lafayette, the City of Lafayette, the City of West Lafayette, and the many small businesses and private donors that helped make it possible to keep our senior community fed to the best of our ability throughout this year.
Finally, to Subaru of America, we share our deepest and sincerest gratitude and love to you for including Meals on Wheels in the Share the Love event each year. It is something we forward to every year to get us into the holiday spirit, and it really brings our community together each and every year!
It has been a challenging yet successful year for Meals on Wheels Greater Lafayette, and we are hoping 2021 is better for everyone around the world! As we look ahead we would all be wise to take a page from Subaru's book and not just share the love, but BE love. It is what this world needs of us this year more than any before. Happy New year!