Summer Day, President & CEO of Meals on Wheels Montgomery County

How did you become interested in this work?

I have always had a passion for helping the under‐served populations…giving a voice to those that are often forgotten. The home‐bound senior population falls into this category because they are not in the public eye and therefore overlooked when it comes to much needed social services. Taking care of those that once took care of us is the highest reward we can offer the Greatest Generation!

What drives your passion?

Definitely our clients. We have clients that served in WWII and The Korean War. To hear stories first hand of what it was like to live through so many life changing events is incredible. It is important to me to stay engaged on a personal level with our seniors so the passion is constantly fueled!

Does your organization offer any programs other than home meal delivery? If so, what are they?

Meals on Wheels Montgomery County, TX also offers congregate dining at three centers as well as transportation services across our entire county (over 1,000 square miles!)

What’s the biggest challenge in your work?

I think our biggest challenge is also our greatest opportunity which is staying innovative. We have witnessed how quickly our entire business model had to change overnight. Everything from how our meals are delivered to how we fundraise without public events has been eye‐opening. It has given us the challenge to think outside of the box and get creative with how we see the future.

What’s the best advice that you have ever received?

I think it depends on the subject!

  • Parenting – The days are long but the years will pass quickly.
  • Personal – When you know better, do better.
  • Professionally – Surround yourself with people smarter than you.
  • Past‐time – (I love to cook!) – The sharper your knife, the less you will cry when cutting onions.

Was there a client, volunteer, or poignant moment in your work that has had a great impact on you?

There are so many! Most recently, we had a volunteer share with us that he was so glad to be back delivering his route (we had to temporarily switch to staff only delivering meals to limit contact with our clients and volunteers). It was a tradition he and wife started many years ago as a way to give back to the community. After his wife passed away, it was one of the few activities that ‘kept him going’. We often think about how much our organization benefits those receiving meals, but for many volunteers, delivering meals serves as much of a purpose.