Dr. Pauline Hughes had one question for 92-year-old Oma Meeker: What’s your dream?
“Mrs. Meeker looked at me and said, ‘To live in peace. To live in a safe home,’” said Hughes, a local chaplain. “You know, everyone deserves that.”
Meeker, whose husband passed away a few years ago, lives alone.
Since her husband’s passing, Meeker’s house has been broken into, while weeds and unwanted shrubbery engulfed her front yard.
“Just look around,” said Bryan Rushton, an employee for PruittHealth Hospice. “This place is in pretty bad shape right now. If anyone deserves a home makeover, it’s Mrs. Meeker.”
On Saturday, Meeker received just that. About 30 volunteers arrived at her home at 9 a.m. to do yard work, as well as install a tank-less water heater and security lighting.
The theme of the project was “No Place Like Home.”
“Mrs. Meeker is a very proud woman and all she wants is to live in peace,” Hughes said. “I’m so grateful we’re able to help grant her that wish.”
Meeker, who turns 93 on March 26, received $2,000 worth of upgrades. Meeker is in hospice care and there was discussion that she may need to enter a nursing home if the condition of her residence didn’t improve.
PruittHealth Hospice partnered with Second Wind Dreams to make Meeker’s wish a reality.
Since 1997, Second Wind Dreams has become involved in more than 400 eldercare communities in 40 states, and Canada. According to a news release, the mission of Second Wind Dreams is to change the perception of aging through the fulfillment of dreams and the offering of innovative educational opportunities to caregivers and communities.
“All she wants is to stay at home,” Rushton said. “And we’re making sure that happens.”
Among the volunteers were Leigh Westbrook and Ashley Garrett from Greenbrier High School, as well as Trayvon Johnson from T.W. Josey. There was also a middle school student, Kejon Perry, from Murphey Middle.
The students spent hours at Meeker’s home, mainly improving yard conditions.
“It means a lot to come and help out,” said Garrett, a freshman at Greenbrier . “When I first saw this yard, I was like, ‘Wow.’”
Added Nikki Worley, Garrett’s mother: “It’s such an awesome thing to help others. We’re very happy to be here.”
Reach Doug Stutsman at (706) 823-3341 or firstname.lastname@example.org