Happy August! As always, we have lots to report. Although there’s lots of good stuff happening (like our upcoming OktoberFeast), I’m sorry to say that there are also some less-than-ideal circumstances that are presenting real challenges for us. After an abnormally cool spring and June, the heat has definitely hit Tri-Cities. And with the heat come extra worries regarding the well-being of our seniors. We’ve included some information about dealing with the heat on pages 5 & 6. I think the best summary of that info is that during the heat of the day, we should all try to stay inside in air conditioning whenever possible,
drink lots of water, and avoid overexertion. Seniors are particularly vulnerable to heat-related problems, so our clientele is at higher risk in these extreme temperatures.
In addition to heat-related worries, we have a couple other big stressors:
- Like many locations across the country, labor shortages are also a nearly-constant worry. Our local labor shortage has impacted both non-profit and for-profit companies. Meals on Wheels currently has 8 open positions, several of which have been open for months. We have received very few applications for these positions. Our current staff has continued to absorb extra duties, but we are in desperate need of more employees.
What we all can do to help: If you know of anyone who would enjoy working with a great team serving wonderful seniors, please send them our way! The hours are very appealing to most folks—no weekends or evenings.
- COVID is making a huge resurgence. We have many clients, volunteers, and staff who are currently suffering from COVID, and the issue seems to be increasing nearly daily. Our staff is already stretched thin, so temporarily losing even a few staff to illness has huge impact on our agency and the services we are able to provide to our seniors.
What we all can do to help: I encourage everyone to follow recommended practices to help limit the spread of COVID (and other bugs): observing safe social distancing, wearing face masks indoors, and avoiding contact with folks who have tested positive or are showing symptoms of COVID.
Despite the challenges we face, our staff and volunteers at Meals on Wheels continue to serve our seniors and to demonstrate the best in humanity. They all know that it is a privilege to serve the wonderful seniors in our community!