The GSK Run has a new name: The inaugural Tabitha 10K will happen on April 8. The course is the same as the GSK Run, with a loop through Holmes Lake Park, a trip down Normal Boulevard, and a steady climb up 56th Street toward Pioneers Boulevard before returning to and finishing at Holmes Lake Park. In addition to the 10K, there is the 2-mile option, which is also the second race in the Kids’ Grand Prix series.
Tabitha, a new LTC sponsor, is celebrating fifty amazing years of serving up Meals on Wheels, dedicated to reinforcing the value of providing nutritious meals, friendly visits and important safety checks to good citizens by good people, doing good things for a good cause.
Each and every day, beginning at dawn, the dedicated Tabitha team begins its march for meals prep. And at 10:30 a.m. hordes of volunteers descend upon the pick-up site to deliver. Preparing to serve meals direct to elders’ homes seven days a week, 365 days a year, under gray clouds or Tabitha bright blue skies is quite the operation.
For some Lincoln residents, all that is needed to live successfully at home is a hot meal. Tabitha’s program has been running since 1967, when Tabitha Elder Care pioneer, Martha Maseman, discovered the need to provide meals to the homebound. Tabitha Meals on Wheels is the first and only program of its kind in Lincoln. In the past half century, Tabitha has delivered more than four million meals. That’s the equivalent of serving everyone on gameday in a sold-out Husker Memorial Stadium forty-seven times! Deliveries are split into forty-four weekday routes, thirty-eight weekend routes and more than nine hundred devoted Tabitha volunteers per month help bring this initiative to life. Generally, it just takes ninety minutes for a team of two volunteers to complete their route.
The program is funded and run by Tabitha and supplemented by generous grants, donations and volunteers generated through the tireless work of the Tabitha Foundation and Volunteer teams. The need is great as more than 70 percent of the more than five hundred clients served daily cannot afford the $6.25 cost per meal. Despite a 74 percent growth in the past decade, Tabitha has never put a limit on the number of meals served, nor turned anyone anyway based on financial hardships. In true Tabitha spirit, as long as there is continued community support, Tabitha will continue to serve.
Living longer comes at increasing costs and with seven out of ten elders wishing to remain at home, Meals on Wheels is a lifeline. Studies show that delivering meals to seniors for a year costs less than spending a single day in the hospital. The long-term goal is to leverage the existing infrastructure and face the challenges that come with more demand.
You may be aware about independence issues facing elders but until you or someone you love experiences the need firsthand, it is not a subject that is on your radar. Elders’ needs only continue to magnify as over a quarter of the baby boomer population have reached the age of sixty-five and are expected to live past ninety. Many aspects of their daily life will begin to prove challenging.
For the elders we serve, the act of delivering a meal makes a world of difference between staying at home and needing to change their living situation. The simple delivery allows us to combat the biggest three threats of aging: isolation, loss of independence, and hunger. Studies show that when elders participate in the Meals on Wheels program their quality of life improves, with fewer visits to the hospital and ultimately, they live longer. Across the United States, clients say: 83 percent improves their health, 92 percent enables them to age in place, 87 percent provides a sense of security.
Get involved by making our community safe, strong, and self-sufficient. You can raise funds, volunteer to deliver or help to build lasting partnership programs with your company, church, civic organization; it’s a great family activity too. Let us know how you’d like to help, call 402.486.8520 or visit tabitha.org and click Volunteer Opportunities.