$10,000 donation to Meals on Wheels answer to a prayer

July 3, 2013 

WARNER ROBINS -- Kenny Weaver’s trip to the post office Thursday was just what he hoped for.

Or actually, just what he prayed for.

Weaver is executive director of the Houston County Council on Aging Meals on Wheels program. He said his agency faced a $10,000 shortfall as the week -- and the Meals on Wheels fiscal year -- came to a close Friday.

“I said a little prayer as I walked the distance from my Jeep to the post office entrance,” Weaver said. “I was hoping we’d get a little something to ease that deficit. I prayed we’d get it or if we didn’t get it that I’d have the strength to get through the situation.”

Weaver said there were three envelopes in the box. He said two were from the Meals on Wheels accountant, and one looked more personal -- the kind that might have a check in it.

Despite a surge of excitement, Weaver followed policy and left the envelopes unopened. He brought them back to the Meals on Wheels office to be opened and processed.

“There was a lot of jumping up and down and celebrating when we did,” he said. “In the personal letter there was a check for $10,000.”

Weaver said it’s the largest donation from a single, individual contributor he’s seen in his 27 years of serving nonprofit organizations. He said the donor hadn’t contributed to the agency before and wanted to remain anonymous.

“It was amazing to see all those zeros,” he said. “At first you think $100, and that’s a great donation, but then those zeros keep going and it’s $10,000. Really unbelievable.”

Weaver said the past fiscal year was the first in which Meals on Wheels faced such a shortfall. He said government and charitable cutbacks were the cause. He said the coming local effects of sequestration have his and other nonprofit organizations concerned along with everyone else in Middle Georgia.

Weaver said a week before getting the check, Meals on Wheels had a new fundraising event called Saddle Up for Meals on Wheels hosted by the Silver Spur Riding Club of East Dublin. He said it was a successful first-time venture and one that he believes will grow, but it didn’t match the deficit.

“I’m always grateful to such sponsors and all those that help Meals on Wheels,” he said. “We’re dependent on them and our volunteers to get nutritious, noon-time meals to the 140 or so home-bound elderly people we deliver to.”

Weaver said he’s certain Thursday’s check wasn’t just a coincidence but was a real answer to prayer.

“I don’t see how it could have been anything else,” he said. “I’ve prayed through the year, but I had that exact $10,000 figure in mind as I went the 20 yards from the parking lot to the post office. To me, it’s beyond coincidence, and I’m not comfortable calling it that. I think it was somebody else’s plan.”

Weaver said he’s delighted to close the fiscal year with the deficit gone and hopes the agency will be able to not only maintain but get ahead of costs in the coming year, so Meals on Wheels can start including some of the 110 people on their waiting list for service.

Weaver said depending on varying food costs, which tend to only go up, it takes an average of $2,500 annually to feed a Meals on Wheels client.

Contact Michael W. Pannell at mwpannell@gmail.com.

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