Our Shopping Bus helps seniors living in affordable senior buildings all throughout Chicago. Our bus driver Ernest is beloved by riders who he helps to get from their residence to grocery stores where they can shop for groceries, medication, and household items.
96-year-old Velma loves this program, and Ernest. She says, "I'm not too steady on my feet so one day I asked Ernest to help me [around the store] and he's helped me ever since."
Little things make a big difference
Velma is so grateful that Ernest goes above and beyond for her.
While accompanying someone around a store may not seem like a big deal to you or me, it's just that kind of help that makes a big difference in seniors' quality of life and ability to be independent.
Another rider once told us, “There are a lot of ways I could get to the grocery store but that is all I get—a ride. Ernest cares about us. He helps us on and off the bus. Ernest comes in the store with us to see if we are doing ok. He loads our groceries on the bus for us and then when we get home he carries them into the building for us. I asked the driver of another bus service to do that for me and he said, 'That’s not my job.'"
That extra effort from Ernest is a BIG help to seniors!
A study by the Greater Chicago Food Depository found that almost a third seniors were unable to obtain food at some point even though they could afford food.
The most common reason cited: an illness or physical limitation, especially when the individual lived alone. The weight of food is also a problem for older adults. Some reported being unable to carry home heavy items like meat, produce, and milk, and instead bought fewer foods or less nutritious foods based on its weight. This can lead to senior hunger and malnutrition.
Our Shopping Bus offers solutions to these problems: accessible transportation, support with carrying groceries, and person-centered support. These solutions help seniors to stay healthy, and independent, by making sure they have enough healthy food when they need it.
One senior wrote to us about the bus, “I look forward to my trip. I don't have to beg family to take me to the store.”
How you can help
We rely on donations from individuals like you to help Velma safely and securely access fresh food to stay healthy.
This year H.O.M.E. has joined #ILGive to celebrate Giving Tuesday.
Will you mark your calendar for November 28, 2017 to help us reach our goal of raising $20,000 to make a big impact for seniors in 2018?
As a bonus, Bruce Otto, our Executive Director, has agreed to shave his the beard he has worn for most of his life. Watch the video here.
Or, donate today.
This post is part of our series to celebrate Giving Tuesday, which will take place this year on November 28, 2017. The idea behind #GivingTuesday is to kickoff the holiday-giving season, in the same way that Black Friday and Cyber Monday kickoff the holiday-shopping season.
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