Ron Corbett

In the rainy spring of 2022, Former Cedar Rapids Mayor Ron Corbett’s mother relocated from her home in Florida to the Southeast side of Cedar Rapids.

“She moved into the third floor of the Pennington building. Both of my sisters had passed, so I am her only living child and she wanted to be closer to me. Unfortunately, my home has stairs and she needed a living space that was all on one level.”

A few months after moving in, Ron’s mother suffered an injury. As a former board member at Horizons and as someone who had volunteered to deliver meals before, he knew the help and the peace of mind that Meals on Wheels could offer.

“She had broken her hip, and had a lot of mobility issues. I had always been familiar with Meals on Wheels – I had participated in Champions Week by delivering meals when I was mayor. At the time, I never thought about the day when my own family might need the service. When my mother was injured, I reached out to Horizons and got her set up. She really liked the meals – other than her daily food delivery and my visits, she really didn’t have much outside contact.

That daily contact with a volunteer was so important. As short as the visit was, it was a big relief to me as the only family caregiver in the area knowing she was going to get one good meal a day. She looked forward to it every day.

She received hot meal service, and because she was close she was first on the list. There were a couple of times her delivery person couldn’t get into the complex. Every time she was unreachable, someone from the staff called me and let me know that when they tried to deliver she didn’t answer the door. I would go check on her to make sure she was ok. There was that additional oversight – Meals on Wheels can send up a flag if someone isn’t answering.”

Because Ron’s work was in close proximity to his mother’s home, he acknowledges that he was fortunate to be able to arrive quickly in the event she needed assistance.

“I was close. It was convenient for me to run over and make sure she was ok. I can’t imagine how challenging it is for those who don’t have a caregiver or any family in the state.

My mother’s profession was nursing. One of my favorite things about her is that she shows a lot of empathy for people. I have always admired that about her, being a healthcare professional and a recovery nurse. She worked in the OR. That’s when people are most vulnerable, coming out of surgery and really in need of detailed care. I think she had that empathy about her, and that caused her to want to help people. She has long since retired, but it was a struggle for her losing two daughters. You never want to have to bury a child. She’s dealt with bouts of depression over the last few years, and while Meals on Wheels didn’t resolve that trauma, it did give that daily touchpoint.

I have reached out to CEO Mike Barnhart a couple of times thanking him for Meals on
Wheels and the staff and volunteers. It meant so much to me and my mother. Any way I can help to spread the message about the value of Meals on Wheels, I am happy to do so.”


Previous Post
Next Post