For more than 20 years the
Hannibal Nutrition Center
has meant a safe place and a good meal for seniors.
Tight financial times have created challenges to find the necessary funding for this vital community asset...funding that is needed to keep its doors open.
But according to Executive Director Debbie Catlett someone always steps up in times of need.
Little did she know that this year, that person would be her own daughter.
At the Hannibal Nutrition Center there is probably nobody more trusted by Executive Director Debbie Catlett than her own daughter, Assistant Director Margee Tucker.
For many years Margee has been in the trenches with her mother dealing with cuts in state funding and raising money to make sure the doors of the Center stay open.
So it was not unusual for her to be looking for money raising options when she ran across a charity grant program called
12 Days of Giving sponsored by WalMart.
What Margee didn't realize, when she clicked on that link, was that she was almost out of time.
Margee says, " I was 3 hours from the deadline. So I went ahead and just filled out the paperwork, never thinking that we would actually get it."
So you can imagine her surprise when she found out that the nutrition center had been awarded a grant of 10 thousand dollars.
Margee's mother Debbie was also surprised and says this money could not have come at a better time.
Debbie says, " It's absolutely going to help us provide at least 10 thousand more meals for senior citizens that are in need.
Debbie Catlett says that poverty in the senior population over the last 4 to 5 years has increased the number people who are using the center's services.
Margee says the center fills an important role in Hannibal.
She says, "I feel that it's a vital part of the community. It works to keep seniors in the home. It keep them from going to nursing homes prematurely. It is a daily contact for all the seniors so that we can check on them to make sure they're ok."
But for Debbie getting the grant means more than just getting the money.
Debbie says, "I'm so proud of her. It was the first time. I usually have been the grant writer. So it was really amazing to me to see her follow in my footsteps. So I'm not just happy because of the money, I'm happy to see her pick up my work. As I said, it's important to get the younger generations involved so that the Center stays open. So that's what it means to me.
The program will give out 1.5 million dollars in grant money to 140 organizations across the country.