UCARE donates over $7,000 to Meals on Wheels, Wallace Thomson Hospital

Charles Warner Editor

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UNION COUNTY — An organization that delivers meals to the needy and the county’s largest provider of health care services received a total of more than $7,000 raised by a group of county employees in 2013.

In a ceremony at the Union County Courthouse Wednesday afternoon, UCARE members Becky Cobb, Ronnie Wade, and Debbie Foster, joined by Union County Council Council members Tommy Ford and Kacie Petrie and Supervisor Tommy Sinclair, presented checks to Union County Meals on Wheels and Wallace Thomson Hospital.

Cobb, who is vice president of UCARE, said that the checks “represented the total collected by UCARE during its 12 Days of Christmas Raffle, Chicken Stew sale, Union County Hat sales, a match from county council and other fundraisers to support these local organizations that improve lives in our community. When split two ways, the funds allowed UCARE to present a check in the amount of $3,534 to Meals on Wheels Co-Chairperson Kathy Stepp, and another check of the same amount to Hospital CEO Paul Newhouse.”

The Union County Aid Relief Effort or UCARE is an organization of county employees who donate their time and/or money to help local charities.

Cobb also pointed out that not only were Meals on Wheels and the hospital recipients of the funds raised by UCARE, they also assisted in the raising of those funds.

“Meals on Wheels and the hospital both helped with the fundraisers,” Cobb said. “I’d like to thank these two organizations for their hard work in helping with the fundraisers.”

In addition to its support of Meals on Wheels and the hospital, Cobb said that UCARE also contributed to the Secret Santa program.

“We also worked with WBCU with their Truck Full of Toys to distribute those out to needy families,” she said. “We worked with the Angel Tree Organization for any needs they may have had this year.”

Meals on Wheels

Meals on Wheels is an organization composed of 60-65 volunteers who in 2013 delivered 24,600 meals or approximately 2,000 a month to the residents of the 10 delivery routes in Buffalo and Union served by the group. The number of meals delivered included meals delivered to two daycare operations the group provides assistance to.

While its members are all unpaid volunteers, Meals on Wheels does have expenses, its main one being the meals it delivers. Stepp said the meals delivered in 2013 cost more than $80,000.

Unlike some similar programs in other communities, Meals on Wheels receives no funding from the federal government. The group instead relies primarily on donations to cover the costs of the services it provides and Stepp said that’s why UCARE’s donation is so important.

“It costs us about $6,000 a month to operate Meals on Wheels and this $3,500 gets us through half a month,” Stepp said. “We depend on donations from churches and other organizations and individuals and so this means a lot.”

Stepp pointed out that, like Meals on Wheels, UCARE is an organization of volunteers. She said the group’s support of Meals on Wheels is an example of the generosity and kindness of the people of Union County.

“It’s just a wonderful thing that they’ve done and we appreciate it,” Stepp said. “Anytime a group goes to those lengths to do something good it really says volumes about Union County.”

Stepp also urged the public to support Meals on Wheels not only financially, but as volunteers as well.

“We solicit and encourage your active involvement so we can continue to provide this critical community service,” Stepp said.

Anyone who wants to make a donation to Meals on Wheels may do so by sending it to Meals on Wheels, P.O. Box 951, Union, S.C. 29379.

Wallace Thomson Hospital

Wallace Thomson Hospital is the largest component of the Union Hospital District which is also composed of Ellen Sagar Nursing Home, Union County EMS, and Carolinas Health Associates.

The hospital provides a variety of health care services including cardiac and neurological — EKG, EEG, and Sleep Disorder Testing; surgical — ENT, General Surgery, Ophthalmology, Podiatry, and Pain Management; laboratory; pharmacy; women’s — advanced laparoscopic gynecological procedures, Women’s Wellness (pap smears, treatment of abnormal pap smears, pelvic exams, Obstetrics, Urogynecological procedure, and DEXA Scans (Bone Density Scans); and volunteer services.

In providing those services, the hospital employs a workforce of 540 people making it the third-largest employer in Union County.

Editor Charles Warner can be reached at 864-427-1234, ext. 14, or by email at cwarner@civitasmedia.com


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