Saturday, October 28, 2017

The Special Cabinet

  Every day of every year UVA Medical Center Social Workers go to a special cabinet in the far corner of their large office in the main hospital where full-day meal packets are stored.  The cabinet holds about one hundred meal packets, and is restocked every 2-3 weeks. From 2,400 - 3,000 packets will have been placed into that special cabinet by this year's end.  And then ... the cycle will start again.

Most fairy tales have a special closet or chest or cabinet which houses an important item. This is not a tale of magic. This special cabinet is the only food for a day for several thousand caregivers, family members and out-patients who simply do not have funds to eat in the hospital café or elsewhere while providing support for long distance travelers.

There is something magical in this process which must not be ignored!

Dozens of groups, including churches in Albemarle, Fluvanna and Louisa counties; school clubs; scout troops; kindergartens, etc. purchase and make the meal packets over the course of a year.  That's hundreds of individual partners participating annually to make sure that IHS meets its monthly objective to keep the cabinet fully stocked. Many churches will ask if the charity needs meal packets or funds to support other important categories, such as lodging funds, prescription funds, and infant car seats for underfunded parents to be able to get that new baby home. Flexibility with support over the years has been so important.

Consistent Support is  so important as we look toward 2018.

For the last two years two churches have devoted themselves to meal packet objectives and set the objectives for others to consider. The Grace and Glory Lutheran Church in Palmyra has faithfully made the second Sunday of every month as "meal-making Sunday."  A church group makes 70 meal packets monthly. That's 840 meal packets annually. The Thomas Jefferson Memorial Church (TJMC) UU in Charlottesville  selects two months of the year and makes 400+ meal packets annually.  That's a total from just these two churches of 1,240 meal packets toward present annual need of 2,400 - 3,000 meal packets annually.  Several other churches such as Effort Baptist and First Methodist in Fluvanna County have donated several thousand dollars over the year and allowed for use to meet all categories.

Please consider a discussion with your church, club, clinic, business, etc. for adding IHS to their giving this year. If we can enthuse another dozen consistent devotees to set aside just 1-2 months each year for meal-making, that special cabinet in the UVA Hospital will bring so much added joy to the Social Workers at UVA Hospital, as they continue to surprise thousands with that unexpected food packet.  Talk to your group  and contact us at

And, as always, please remember that all of us at IHS are non-paid volunteers, and we are all donating what we can to IHS personally. Also remember - for transparency we hold the "Gold Seal of Approval" from the national clearing house. Please do what you can. And, if you would like to donate now to our cause, please click the button below to go to our encrypted secure on-line donation form.

 Sincerely ...  Thomas Wade Clegg III and Sam McLawhorn