By Angie Bado, TSB Publisher
Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas at the Collin County Committee on Aging (CCCA) in McKinney. Gifts wrapped in pretty holiday paper, are stacked on tables and on the floor, waiting for Santa’s elves, in the form of volunteers from the community and Brandon Tomes Subaru, to make some special deliveries.
More than 600 senior citizens in Collin County will be recipients of the Meals on Wheels (MoW) Secret Santa program this year. Meals on Wheels is a division of the CCCA, a non-profit organization committed to serving the needs of the elderly residents within Collin County since 1976. The purpose of CCCA is to seek funding to promote better nutrition and additional support services for adults over the age of sixty.
“We are very fortunate to have the help from Subaru. Both Subaru of American, and Brandon Tomes Subaru, which is here in McKinney, allow us to successfully run the Secret Santa program,” volunteer Cathy Jamison said. “We also get help from Boeing, Raytheon and other corporations.”
In September, Meals on Wheels clients submit a Secret Santa form requesting certain gifts, filling out sizes and other specificiations. Requests range from electric blankets to CD’s and everything in between. Then the corporations, Subaru and community volunteers go to work shopping, wrapping and delivering the gifts to the clients.
Some 700 Meals on Wheels volunteers routinely deliver meals at lunch to over 700 Collin County seniors who need assistance. Many pay for the service.
“We send out a bill to all of our clients. Those who can afford it pay, but those who don’t still receive services,” Jamison said.
Referrals for the home delivered meal service are screened by phone, then a caseworker completes a home visit in order to determine if a prospect is eligile to receive services.
Eligibility Requirements Include:
- 60 years or older
- A resident of Collin County
- Must be primarily homebound, not able to provide transportation on their own
- Have some physical or cognitive limitation that prohibits ability to shop or cook
- Experience weight loss due to lack of nutrition
- Is unable to access meals at a local Senior Center
- Does not have a paid provider in the home that is being paid to prepare meals
Photo: Brandon Tomes (center) of Brandon Tomes Subaru in McKinney, staff and Bob Tomes (far left) of Bob Tomes Ford, prepare to deliver gifts to Collin County seniors who participate in the Meals on Wheels Secret Santa project.