Here’s How Meals on Wheels Volunteers Saved an Oak Cliff Retiree Stranded on His Floor for Two Days

Charlie and Abby Tupper sensed that something wasn’t right moments after they knocked on George Kelley’s door at a senior-citizen apartment complex near Kiest Park.The father and daughter’s insistence that their Meals on Wheels recipient answer their knock on the December day meant a lot more than lunch to the 74-year-old retiree on the other side of the door. Kelley, stuck helplessly between a coffee table and couch since falling two days earlier, had begun to give up hope before the Tuppers arrived.“I think the Man up above sent them by to be extra concerned,” George Kelley told me Wednesday as he recalled the awful experience. “Brother Charlie and Abby saved my life. If it hadn’t been for Meals on Wheels coming by, there’s no telling how much longer I’d have laid there.”With so much discouraging -- and superficial -- news dominating the headlines, I jumped at the chance to talk to these seemingly ordinary people who represent the quiet every-day heroics that too often go unnoticed.The Visiting Nurse Association of Texas has long run Meals on Wheels in the county. Each weekday, the service provides nutritious food to homebound seniors and disabled adults who -- because of illness, advanced age or disability -- are unable to handle their own meals.With one in six Dallas County seniors struggling with hunger, the service is a godsend. Meals on Wheels also helps many older folks stay in their own homes -- which is not only what many of them prefer but also a far less costly option than nursing homes.About 4,500 clients hear that daily knock and the “Meals on Wheels” greeting. Volunteers do half the deliveries; the other half are made by paid drivers.  Continue reading...

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