My mom was diagnosed with diabetes approximately 10 years ago. Along with that diagnosis came other health problems — kidney failure, vision problems and dialysis. Shortly after, my dad was diagnosed with renal failure and started with dialysis, too.
I’m the oldest child and the only one of my siblings living near my parents. I’m also married and work full-time. With two parents on dialysis at the same time, I became the main caregiver and it quickly turned into more than I could handle on my own.
During one of my dad’s many hospital visits I met a social worker who informed me that my parents could qualify for several community services, including Meals on Wheels. At this point, my mom could no longer do what she loved so dearly, stand in the kitchen and cook daily meals, something I took for granted. I immediately got my parents connected with Meals on Wheels, which turned out to be one of the biggest blessings during this season. I knew my parents would receive a warm, nourishing meal and a daily visit, and I no longer felt alone in caring for my family.
When I lost my dad, I became even more passionate about Meals on Wheels. My father, Pastor Henry Berry, Jr. had a heart for God, his family and all mankind. This organization made a difference in his life every day and they continue to bless my mom by providing meals and a personal connection when I cannot be by her side.
Meals on Wheels is changing lives by serving my family, our neighbors and maybe one day even me and you. Our community is deeply fortunate to have such an impactful organization, and it is my honor to support a mission that has contributed so much for me.
As we approach the season of giving, I encourage you to commit time and resources to a cause close to your heart like I do at Meals on Wheels of Greenville. To learn more about their mission to serve the homebound in Greenville County, visit MealsonWheelsGreenville.org.
Valerie Chatman is a small business support/procurement professional with Lockheed Martin Logistic Services and a board member at Meals on Wheels of Greenville.