“This may sound weird… but my hope is that Meals on Wheels goes out of business.”
I found myself smiling while interviewing Andrew Schick, Talent Acquisition Director of Hilti North America. I leaned in as he continued….
“My hope is that we get to a point societally when the agency is no longer needed, because we have gotten to a point—through policy, family support, or whatever else it might be—where every individual senior’s needs are already met.”
We couldn’t agree more!
Photo taken prior to COVID-19
That is, of course, the goal of every nonprofit… to go out of business, because culture and society at large have become so transformed that the mission has finally been accomplished. But how does this happen?
A World Without Senior Hunger
Senior hunger and isolation are on the rise. More and more seniors are experiencing isolation due to COVID-19 quarantines and safety measures. Caregivers must limit contact as much as possible to prevent accidental spread of this virus. Even as vaccines roll out, seniors with limited technology struggle to understand the sign-up procedures and, by the time they figure it out, find themselves thousands and thousands of names down the waiting list.
But what if we could fix everything?
Imagine a world in which every senior always has enough to eat… a world in which their needs are always met… in which no senior is left behind or forgotten, and the community itself ensures they are healthy, included, and even celebrated!
We might ask ourselves… if aging is irreversible, is such a world even possible?
What does it take to eliminate senior hunger? What does it take to break down systemic barriers and ensure people have what they need to thrive at every stage in life?
It takes a community movement, and Hilti has already caught the vision!
The Hilti Group is a global organization that manufactures, designs, and sells construction software, services, and products to commercial contractors. Beyond pursuing excellence in what they do, the company also has a strong commitment to supporting the local community.
When Hilti employee Andrew Schick was exploring ways in which he could personally give back to the community, he identified two of his passions: senior services and food insecurity. That naturally led to Meals on Wheels Collin County.
His commitment to this mission has been contagious. As the Talent Acquisition Director at Hilti, Andrew Schick leads a team of 27 individuals, and he has enjoyed connecting each one of them with Meals on Wheels volunteer opportunities. Together, they have helped bag emergency meals, delivered these meals, donated thousands of dollars and multiple vehicles, and provided Harvest Boxes and Secret Santa gifts for Meals on Wheels clients.
Photo taken prior to COVID-19
One Saturday in June 2020, several Hilti team members came out to pack and deliver some emergency meals. When Schick looked to see who showed up, he saw cars lined around the building and down the street. At least half of them were Hilti employees. “That’s really impactful,” Schick told us. “And some of them got out of their cars, and they had their masks on, right, but they’re talking to each other. It’s not an official team building activity, but it’s almost as impactful when they all see each other in the cars….”
This is the power of a community movement. When people answer the rally call, when they simply show up, and when they do so together… that begins to shift culture and create a world in which senior hunger no longer exists.
We commend Hilti for its commitment to empowering people to live independent, autonomous lives. We honor them for taking ownership of their role toward improving the global community and supporting people from all walks and stages of life. Hilti has been an amazing partner, and we are incredibly grateful!
Together, we can build a better future.
To create a world with no senior hunger, the entire culture must change. There are simple ways to help:
Look down your street. Pay attention. Notice if any of your neighbors are aging and might need help or even just a kind word.
Offer to take their trash to the curb.
Pick up their groceries or bring them a simple care package.
Remember to wear your masks and practice physical distancing. You can honor them by helping protect their health, even if you do not feel that you are at risk.
Physical distancing should not create social distance…. Send hand-written cards. Make a phone call. Sing to them outside their window. Bring a smile to their faces.
There are so many ways to help! And we know you will find it very rewarding, once you get started.
If you are not sure where or how to help, you can start with Meals on Wheels. We need you!