Pat Dean has donated every year to Meals on Wheels. Here’s Why.

In the early 1990s, when Pat Dean moved her paving company, Central Oregon Pavers, to the “wrong side of the railroad tracks” in Redmond, she became the first business in the area. The only other buildings were a few small homes occupied by older adults who lived alone, had no transportation or running water, and used magazines and newspapers to insulate the walls for heating. The area had experienced some crime, and Pat’s presence and the security lights she installed around her building brought a sense of safety to the handful of locals.

“They were old people who had no family,” says Pat. “If they had to go anywhere, they just walked. How they got food, I don’t know. Have you ever carried two bags of groceries? They become very heavy. And it’s a long ways to all the grocery stores from here.”

Pat, a self-professed “country girl” who grew up on a dairy farm near Tumalo, says her generation was used to working together and sharing everything. So she took care of her employees and kept an eye out for the neighbors. “They were good people,” says Pat. “And if they needed something, I made sure they had it.”

Pat decided to call Meals on Wheels and ask if they would deliver food to the locals. She said she would pay for it. Soon, she started seeing the Meals on Wheels drivers arriving each morning.

“When they brought the meals, the volunteers would visit for a little bit, and I imagine the older folks felt much better,” says Pat. “I don’t know if they ever knew where their Meals on Wheels came from, but I never told them, and probably nobody else did.”

All of the older adult locals have since passed away, but Pat still donates thousands of dollars a year to the Meals on Wheels program through the Council on Aging.

“There are other people, elsewhere, who need to eat, and I know that a lot of them don’t get out, and they don’t eat right. So if they have one good meal a day, that’s important. I think Meals on Wheels is really a good thing. So I
just kept on donating.”

The Council on Aging welcomes donations to help all our neighbors who need it receive Meals on Wheels. Your gift of any size can help transform the life of an older adult living alone and struggling to get food. Please consider a gift today.

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