Along with a healthy meal delivered to their door to keep their bodies’ strong, homebound neighbors also need activities to keep their minds sharp. That’s where the Quimby family comes in. The Quimby family has been part of the East Cooper Meals on Wheels family from the very beginning. “My mom and dad, Ed and Alyce Quimby, did Meals on Wheels for years. In fact, they were two of the four people that started it,” said Judi. Thirty-two years later, Alyce now in her late 90s, is still dedicated to East Cooper Meals on Wheels and the homebound neighbors we serve.
Alyce always had a love for reading, but when her eyesight began to weaken, she had to think of other ways to continue her love of books. Alyce started listening to audio books. “I knew she loved to read, as do I, and we started a conversation about delivering books to the people on our route and see what they thought,” said Judi. Little did they know what joy this would bring to so many homebound neighbors.
It all started with an idea and a trip to a local bookstore. “I went to Sullivan’s Trade-A-Book and talked to the owner, Beverly, and she right away loved the idea. She would give us boxes and boxes of books,” said Judi. They tested the program out on the route they were currently delivering. “My mom and I would put books in bags with each person’s name on them for the drivers to deliver. I also keep file cards so we don’t give anyone a book that they have already read.” Their idea was a success!
“After we saw how much the people on our route loved getting them I asked Rachel (recipient services manager) about putting a bulletin out for all the drivers to give to the people on their route and see what they thought,” said Judi. The program quickly grew and they had 50 recipients signed up. Judi explained that “many people loved the idea and some even asked for certain authors or books, which we were able to give them.” This program provided access to books for individuals who otherwise would not be able to make it to the public library or a local bookstore.
Due to need, Judi has also provided applications for those who could use large print and audiobook. “If they fill out the application and it is accepted, they can get them along with a tape player through the SC Public Library and sent to them free of charge,” added Judi. The Quimby’s have provided enjoyment and much-needed resources to many homebound neighbors.
Judi asked, “What is better than a good meal and a good book to read?”
We could not agree more. We are very thankful for dedicated volunteers like the Quimby’s who understand the obstacles that our aging and homebound recipients go through each day. They have truly made keeping homebound neighbors mind sharp and entertained their mission.
We hope that we can help the Quimby’s expand this program and provide books to every homebound neighbor who would like them.