Client Stories

Lysia BooneLysia Boone is a stay-at-home mom who moved her son Caleb into homeschool in the 3rd grade. Caleb was born with Oppositional Defiant Disorder and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome; combined, these disorders make it difficult for Caleb to be around his peers, but his mother didn’t want to allow these challenges to keep him from social and spiritual growth. Together, Lysia and Caleb began delivering meals for Meals on Wheels Ministry in Wills Point, Texas. She says it took a while for Caleb to walk up to a strange door and knock. But after time, he has learned to knock and yell, “Meals on Wheels!” He developed patience, while waiting for physically disabled clients to make it to the door. The seniors he helps serve open their doors now with big smiles and big hugs for Caleb. Lysia says, “Caleb has had to manage his time, dress appropriately, speak directly to someone, and he has passion for giving in service. Thank you, Meals on Wheels!” Meals on Wheels Ministry Inc.

Volunteer Gayle Barber Delivering Meals to VirginaFor 30 years, Virginia was a Meals on Wheels volunteer.  She recently began experiencing the program from the other side of the door.  “I got to where I couldn’t get out,” she said. “I couldn’t get to the grocery store. My kids were calling and kept asking me if I had enough food.”  Virginia now understands better why everyone she visited back when she was a volunteer driver was so happy to see her. “It’s hard for me to sit home. I’ve always been real busy, but I can’t do all that anymore. I’m happy for the daily company, but it means more than that too. I don’t have to worry, and it’s a big help to my boys to know I get a good meal. I get to see somebody every day. Meals on Wheels is a real blessing to us all.” - VNA Meals on Wheels

handwritten letter"Yes, I am one of the recipients of Meals on Wheels, and I am so grateful. Since I am two months shy of 103 years old, it is very difficult to do any cooking holding onto a walker. I am so thankful for the Meals on Wheels. Sincerely, Maudell" - Meals on Wheels of Texoma

elderly man with 100th birthday cakeMeals on Wheels for Greater Houston boasts 14 seniors older than 100 on its 4,000 client list. One such client, Elevena, is a spitfire, dolling out wisdom and wisecracks. “Baby, I got no secret to living to 100,” she says. “I worked hard, I ate what I wanted. I’m gonna live 50 more years!  Ain’t no big deal as long as I’m in God’s hands.” Elevena, like many of her generation, did work very hard to make a living. “It was real hard times,” as she put it. A housekeeper, she earned a reputation as “the best maid they ever saw.” Elevena’s health makes cooking is difficult, so she depends on Meals on Wheels. “My driver is patient with me. I am slow coming to the door and she helps me by opening the door and waiting for me. She helps me carry things. I am always praying for her.” - Interfaith Ministries of Greater Houston

Vicki RatcliffeVicki Ratcliffe youngIn charting the course of her life, 89-year-old Vicki has consistently picked the path less travelled. As a young woman, she attended the Barbizon Modeling School and went on to work as a runway model before deciding fashion consulting was more her thing.  She did that for a decade before becoming social director for a cruise ship; two years later, she took the same position at the Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami Beach. In her 50’s, she went to college, earning a bachelor’s degree and a Masters from Texas Women’s University and went on to work in the school’s Housing Department. These days, she lives alone and credits Meals on Wheels for helping her maintain her independence. “I couldn’t live independently if it wasn’t for Meals on Wheels.  It means you have a hot meal with meat, vegetables, fruit, and milk. The volunteers come here and always brighten my day." - Meals on Wheels and More

Fred and DorothyMeals on Wheels for Greater Houston clients Fred and Dorothy have been married for 69 years. She uses a walker and he uses a cane, which makes cooking meals almost impossible. “For five years I haven’t been able to walk, I have a bad back,” says Dorothy.  “I have had cancer and I lost a kidney. Other than that, we are well.” Although Fred and Dorothy have help from their daughters, both work full time, which makes preparing lunch especially difficult. “Our daughter and her husband come over and take care of us,” explains Dorothy. “It’s a big job and they both work full time. And, Fred can’t really drive anymore. That’s why we had to get something else.” Fred praises their Meals on Wheels driver, “You know, he watches over seniors in our neighborhood. It’s an outstanding service that he’s offering. I’m telling ya, my goodness, it really is good!” - Interfaith Ministries of Greater Houston

Betty BradleyI would like you to meet Jeanette, although her grandkids call her Mama Jet. She lived in a preacher’s house all of her life since both her father and husband were pastors. She had always worked in the church, playing and teaching piano, and she loved it! She even composed a song for her husband and sang it to him on their 50th wedding anniversary. Life was good for “Mama Jet.”

Unfortunately, things change.  We get older, loved ones pass away, and our health declines. In 2005, after her husband’s death, Jeanette had to sell her home and move into an apartment. Due to her very poor mobility and balance, she qualified for Meals on Wheels, but would not apply because, as she put it “I had cable, and it just wouldn’t be right to get meals when someone needier could use them.”  Fortunately, we convinced her it was okay for her to get meals, as she really did need them.

Now at age 91, if you ask her about Meals on Wheels she says, “The food is always high quality and just the right portions, and the volunteers are precious.” She went on to say, “They (volunteers) always have a smile on their face and I have made some very close friends over the years.” - Meals on Wheels Plus, Inc.