Working as a heavy equipment mechanic at Fort Bragg in the 1970s, Richard Wright, 50, developed a double hernia in his stomach, which required immediate surgery and a colostomy bag. Today, he struggles with a permanent disability and, as a result, is a grateful Meals on Wheels client. “I love it,” he says of the program. “I get a hot meal every day and it’s always on time.”
Tragedy struck a second time in 2017 when Hurricane Harvey flooded his home in a Humble trailer park and he was forced to live in a nearby elementary school until the water subsided. At the school, his beloved Dachshund named Rocky contracted the parvo virus and died.
With his home in tatters and his best friend gone, Mr. Wright has worked hard to rebuild his life in a FEMA trailer. He adopted a Terrier puppy named Mary Lou and enrolled her in the aniMeals program, which delivers dry dog food, treats and toys once a month. Taking advantage of aniMeals’ partnership with the local Emancipet program, Mr. Wright recently had Mary Lou spayed at no charge to help reduce the homeless pet population in his neighborhood. Through a partnership with the Texas Veterinary Medical Foundation, Mary Lou received vaccines as well.
aniMeals’ Volunteer Coordinator Heather Mann said the program means the world to Meals on Wheels seniors with pets. “That’s their best friend. For some of them, that’s the reason they get out of bed in the morning because they know they have to be there for their dog or their cat.”
In addition to the nutritious meals brought to Mr. Wright and Mary Lou, Mr. Wright’s volunteer driver looks after him as well. Knowing he is a bit unsteady on his feet and uses a walker, her church group built a ramp to his trailer’s door so he could enter with ease. “I’m blessed,” he says about being a Meals on Wheels and aniMeals client. “I’m lucky to be alive.”
Meals on Wheels serves roughly 4,000 seniors, disabled and veteran clients in the Greater Houston area, and aniMeals on Wheels serves 1,200 pets with 10,000 pounds of pet food every month. However, our stock in dry dog food is running low! Donating is easy on Amazon! Visit the Wish List page and enter Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston to find the aniMeals wish list, or make a donation online at imgh.org/donateanimeals
Donations can be delivered weekdays at 3202 San Jacinto St., Houston, TX 77004.