Meals On Wheels America – the national leadership organization supporting the more than 5,000 community-based programs dedicated to addressing senior hunger and isolation across the U.S. – has joined forces with many of its celebrity supporters to launch the #RespectYourElders campaign, garnering support for America’s aging population and raising awareness for the importance of honoring seniors nationwide.
The social media challenge is simple – share heartwarming videos or photos that raise up the stories, smiles and charming personalities of meaningful elders in your life – and it comes at a crucial time when America’s seniors are lonelier than ever, with millions homebound and living by themselves without family or friends nearby.
We all have the power to help change that, so Meals on Wheels America is issuing a call to value our senior neighbors before they are completely left behind. After all, there is so much we can learn by spending time with our elders and it’s important to spread the wisdom and stories they share with us to others, while doing everything in our power to nourish their lives and let them know they are not alone.
Many of the organization’s celebrity supporters will take to social media throughout August to share words of wisdom from their own older loved ones and encourage their followers to do the same. Famous participants include NBA legend Magic Johnson, actors Lily Tomlin, Andrew Burnap, Annaleigh Ashford, Danny Burstein, Gail Bean, Jalyn Hall, Poorna Jagannathan, Ramona Young and Zyra Gorecki, and singers Lance Bass and Coffey Anderson.
“I always admired my mom for her warmth and kindness,” shared Lily Tomlin when asked who she is spotlighting in support of the campaign. “One of the greatest things she taught me is that there’s always room at the table for one more. That’s why I’m answering Meals on Wheels America’s call to #RespectYourElders.”
Additionally, renowned journalist Gayle King recently joined Meals on Wheels America to support the campaign by hand-delivering meals to seniors in New York City and said, “Everybody I know likes to eat, but imagine if you had no way or means to get to the grocery store or a restaurant. Sadly, that’s the reality for many who are elderly in our city. That’s why when Meals on Wheels asked if I wanted to help deliver lunch and dinner to people who need it most, I said, ‘Yes, please sign me up!’ Now, it’s your turn.”
Millions of seniors are homebound and nearly a third of those who live alone spend almost all of their time by themselves. Supporting Meals on Wheels today provides the food, compassion and hope that can not only brighten their days but change their lives.
“At Meals on Wheels, we don’t just nourish seniors’ bodies through our food deliveries, but their souls as well because, for many, our volunteers provide the only human contact they have all week,” said Ellie Hollander, President and CEO of Meals on Wheels America. “The #RespectYourElders campaign is meant to encourage people to connect with the seniors in their lives, from family and friends to neighbors. They need us and, as our Meals on Wheels volunteers who help us in our mission to combat senior isolation could tell you, there is so much we can learn from them.”
Head to www.mealsonwheelsamerica.org/respect to learn more about how you can get involved with the #RespectYourElders campaign and support Meals on Wheels’ crucial work.