I’m writing this on Tuesday, while we still have hours to get through this tropical storm. I’m hoping that, by the time you read this on Wednesday, that you have not suffered much damage—no trees down, no water in your basement, etc. As I write this, I’ve seen a picture of my front lawn which now looks like a small pond. That wasn’t the type of waterfront property we had envisioned.

As is typical of MOWGLV volunteers, you responded to this weather with humor and commitment to our clients. At 9:15 on Tuesday morning, we had 5 routes open. The rain was starting to really pick up and come down steadily. We could not cancel at that point—meals were bagged up and trucks and vans were on their way to our pick up sites. I suggested that we not ask for volunteers to fill those routes. Instead, we would call clients on those routes and ask that they use a frozen meal today. However, volunteers showed up at Fritch Dr and offered to take more than one route. We canceled deliveries in the Slate Belt because of the myriad creeks and gullies next to the roads. Plus, I believe there was a tornado watch up there. Let’s not get carried away. Literally.

Attached is a picture of Tom Durilla who was not going to let a tropical storm interfere with his meal delivery route. Likewise, Colleen and John Schleicher look snazzy in their rain gear.  I heard from one of our board members who had to park 5 feet away from the curb and she just plowed through the water to get to the client. She was wet up to her thighs. In case there was ever any doubt—and there isn’t on my end—we have great board leadership. This board member brought a change of clothes with her for when she returned to her office after the delivery.

Dawn reported that all Lehigh County routes made it back to the church by around 130 p.m., which isn’t too much later than usual. One of the volunteers reported being re-routed 3 times to find a clear road back to drop off their meal carriers. Please know that if you are ever in a situation where you simply can’t get back, give us a call. We will likely tell you to keep the carrier and get it back to us the next day. In severe circumstances, such as a tropical storm, we can manage to get meals out with the few extra carriers we have.

I sent the staff here at the office home at 230. The 3 of us who were still here were looking at pictures of blocked roads that family members were sending. Hopefully, you will have heard from Melinda by the time you read this. She had to go through Bath and the intersection of 329 and 248 was flooded out.

After last week’s newsletter, Keri heard from a volunteer who asked if volunteers were going to wear masks and gloves through mid-August. The answer is “no.” Volunteers will be wearing masks until further notice. I don’t anticipate releasing the requirement to wear a mask until a vaccine is developed and seems to have some effectiveness. Wearing gloves is more of a personal choice. Our preference is that you use hand sanitizer after delivering a meal. We have masks available. If you need some, let us know. They will be available at pick up sites. These are white, double-layered cotton provided by PEMA. We will gladly give you a 5 pack. Just ask.

Monday was the deadline to respond to our survey. Our consultants are away this week so anticipate that we get some results out to you within the next 2-3 weeks.

You know that I have to share with you how the work you do impacts our clients. Bethany received a call from a client who came onto our service during the height of the pandemic (lockdown). She said she is obese and has struggled with her weight for her adult life. She told Bethany that being on our meals has helped her to manage her diet, reduce stress, and resulted in her losing some weight. Since her meals are now funded by the county, she has more room in her budget to buy fruits and vegetables, which also helps with her weight. She said our meals our “outstanding.” I know it was, and still is, a huge undertaking for many of you to deliver meals but this is why we do it. Thanks!

Victoria Coyle

Chief Executive Officer