(November 23, 2022 – Walnut Creek) Caitlin Sly, Executive Director of Meals on Wheels Diablo Region knew she would need to roll up her sleeves to help the organization’s critical work. It’s important that older adults were fed and safe during power outages, the pandemic, a dramatic increase in the need for services, and most recently a fire at the organization’s Walnut Creek headquarters.
The fire forced the entire staff to work remotely for the past seven weeks, but thanks to their resilience and the commitment of volunteers, no senior missed a meal! But as the holiday season approached, Sly went on a delivery route on November 22 bringing meals to seniors in Walnut Creek. “We always need help from volunteers, especially since we delivered over 600,000 meals last year. That’s a 50% increase since 2020, and the most we have ever delivered in our over 50-year history,” says Sly. “Making sure meals get to older adults is especially difficult during the holidays because some volunteers are traveling to be with family. When the call went out for volunteers to deliver, I jumped at the opportunity.”
Because of the office fire, Sly has been working with insurance representatives and contractors for clean-up and repairs that will take at least a year. She also arranged for the temporary office space that staff moved into thanks to the generosity of BPM Accounting. She is also busy with the everyday responsibilities of running one of the most critical safety net nonprofits in the community and overseeing a staff of 62. This includes working to ensure that meals and other supportive services are delivered with the highest quality, as well as developing new programs to meet the needs of a growing aging population and working to make sure the programs are funded long-term. “It takes a lot to make sure older adults are nourished and safe at home,’ explains Sly, “But to fulfill our mission we have to be boots on the ground, and I’m ready to lace up mine!”
About Meals on Wheels Diablo Region: Helping over 7,500 seniors each year, our mission is to enhance the lives of older adults in Contra Costa County by providing coordinated care that enables them to live independently and with dignity. Our dedicated staff of experts connects seniors with essential services in Contra Costa County. We work to keep our elderly neighbors nourished, healthy, safe, and independent because we provide more than a meal. Learn more about our work here. As our list of seniors in need grows, so does our need for more volunteers. Help us support more seniors in the county! If you would like to get involved, please visit our website. We have several open positions for employment, click here to join the team. Stay in the loop with our updates and announcements, “LIKE” and connect with us on Facebook!