In January, The Sun News published an article about the Heart of Georgia Hospice starting a casserole ministry.
At the time, Sherry Robinson, human resources director at Heart of Georgia Hospice, said the casserole endeavor was in response to seeing more and more of its patients families struggling to put food on the table.
The premise behind the idea was simple. Casseroles are made by individuals, brought to the Heart of Georgia Hospice and then frozen until a family needs a meal. A hospice staff member delivers the food. Social workers from the Heart of Georgia Hospice asked local churches for help but hoped that after hearing about the ministry other organizations and individuals would want to participate.
Enter Jan Gorham and the Woodmen of the World.
Gorham called Robinson to ask her to come speak at the Woodmen of the World monthly meeting in May.
Gorham is vice president of the local Woodmen of the World chapter. Gorham said Woodmen of the World is an insurance and financial management, nonprofit fraternal organization. After reading the article about the hospice needing casseroles, Gorham realized the casserole ministry was a perfect fit for the Woodmen of the Wood.
Usually, we do things where we can join hands, like a baseball team or HODAC, so this is typical of the projects we do, where we help another organization, Gorham said.
Robinson arrived thinking that she would be doing just that -- speaking. But upon entering the Woodmen of the World building, Gorham asked Robinson if she had come in a truck.
I thought I was coming to make a plea, Robinson said. But when I got there, she pointed to coolers in the front of the room containing 22 large casseroles, 35 smaller casseroles and cakes and pies. All wrapped, frozen and ready to go.
To add to Robinsons surprise, after she did speak at the meeting, the Woodmen of the World voted to donate $200 to the Heart of Georgia Hospice casserole ministry.
It was amazing, Robinson said. They filled the freezer and they donated money.
Robinson said that she was especially surprised when she learned that none of the members had a personal contact with hospice and were just responding to an article they had read in the paper.
They read that article and just took it upon themselves to help out, said Robinson.
Robinson said that Heart of Georgia delivers about ten casseroles a week but the demand picks up as more casseroles are available. Along with casserole donations, volunteers are needed to schedule deliveries to patients and then to actually deliver the food.
The Heart of Georgia Hospice opened in 1984 to offer comfort, care and compassion for the terminally ill and their families. It is the only independent nonprofit hospice in the area and serves a 10-county area, offering nursing, social workers and physician care to all, regardless of a patients ability to pay.
To get involved with the casserole ministry, call Robinson at the Heart of Georgia Hospice at 953-5161.
Contact Alline Kent at 396-2467 or email@example.com.