For their all-around well-being, it’s crucial for senior citizens living independently to stay nourished and connected to their communities to avoid feeling isolated. With support from The Mars Agency’s Start Small initiative, Marta Kiser, Director of Client Leadership based in Bentonville, set out on a “Martian Mission” to give seniors in her area a weekly “meal with a smile.”
Since Marta was a kid, she has been drawn to seniors, and later on, to the mission of Meals on Wheels. The organization strives to empower local community programs to improve the health and quality of life for the seniors they serve so that no one is left hungry or isolated. So for her Martian Mission, Marta teamed up with a local senior center to operate a Meals on Wheels route once a week to neighbors in need.
Each Thursday before lunch, Marta and her best friend would head to the senior center to pick up several coolers and hot bags to deliver to the 15 seniors on her route. Throughout her 40 weeks of service, she formed bonds with the recipients who soon became new friends. From Joanne and her dog Annie, to Michael with the latest Razorback sports news, the act of delivering companionship became mutual along the way. By the end of her service, Marta had delivered nearly 2,000 meals to seniors who otherwise would not have had access and an immeasurable amount of friendship to people living alone.
“My goal was to deliver more than just a meal,” said Marta. “I wanted to make a difference and be a bright spot in the day of those who are homebound and/or struggling. Often, we may be the only person they see all day, so it’s important to bring not only a good meal but to come ready with a friendly face, smiles, good vibes and conversation.”
Discussing her service in particular and other ways people can contribute to their communities, Marta stressed the importance of remembering the seniors. “If there’s an opportunity to reach out to seniors within your community, I would encourage that. I think it’s important to help them, as they’ve done so much for us.”
Learn more about the work that Meals on Wheels does and how you can get involved.
At The Mars Agency, our mission is to make a positive impact across a “Triple Bottom Line” that seeks growth for our clients, growth for our people, and growth for our community.
To support the many communities in which we operate, we created the Start Small volunteering initiative. Our goal is to gain 100% employee participation across the program’s four pillars:
- Quarterly events hosted by our local offices;
- Global Citizenship Day, an agency-wide day dedicated to volunteering in our communities;
- Individual personal volunteer days;
- Martian Missions, in which employees like Marta, Chava Boyett and Nidhi Mehra receive up to 160 hours of time to immerse themselves in a cause of their choice.