“It’s Been My Lifeline”
Shirley Proctor has spent the vast majority of her life caring for others. As a youngster during World War II, she helped raise her little brothers while her father served in the U.S. Navy. By the time she was a young woman, she had two children of her own to nurture. Ms. Procter eventually played a major role in caring for her granddaughter and, later, her great-grandchildren.
When she wasn’t tending to family, she earned a living helping others. “I was a caregiver, a live-in, I would take care of ladies,” she recalls. And her services were always in demand. “Every time I had a patient pass away, there was always somebody waiting for me to come to their house.”
It was after leaving one of those houses several years ago, while stopped at a red light, that her life changed forever. Another car slammed into the back of her vehicle, critically injuring Ms. Proctor, and rendering her unable to care for herself much less anyone else. That’s when she began receiving our nutritious meals delivered to her door by our dedicated volunteers, who also perform a friendly safety check. “Meals on Wheels Central Texas has the greatest volunteer program,” she says. “The people that come to me and do for me and check on me are just like friends. They’re all so happy with what they do. It’s just overwhelming to realize there are so many great people in the world and a lot of them are in this organization.”
Ms. Proctor, who lives alone in a small Round Rock apartment, also receives other services from MOWCTX. Volunteers in our HOPE (Healthy Options Program for the Elderly) program provide her with monthly supplies of shelf-stable food, and a volunteer in our Handy Wheels program recently installed a new doorbell for her because she couldn’t hear the old one.
Then there’s the help our PALS (Pets Assisting the Lives of Seniors) program delivers when it comes to caring for her beloved dog, Ryder. PALS provides free monthly supplies of dog food as well as free basic veterinary care – which really came in handy recently when Ryder had to have five teeth pulled. “He is absolutely the companion I’ve needed. I’ve had dogs all of my life but I was able to care for them. Ryder cares for me. I couldn’t get by without him.”
Ms. Proctor says she also couldn’t get by without Meals on Wheels Central Texas: “It’s kept me going. It’s been my lifeline and I just can’t say enough. It covers my life. If I had a million dollars, I’d leave every penny to Meals on Wheels Central Texas.”