Give someone a boost

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This week has been difficult one for the people who have walked through our doors.  They’ve been trying to get the money together to buy food, for starters, but with a little help from our volunteers and donors, most have been able to get by.  Some have not been as lucky.

Wendy came in this week, looking for food like everyone else, but not the kind that we were giving out.  We had a lot of strawberries, which was great.  We even had cheese, which was a real treat for everyone too.  What she really needed however, were meal replacement drinks, which we did not have. 

You see, Wendy has Lupus.  Lupus is an autoimmune disease.  Your immune system is the incredibly complex part of your body that tries to find disease and infection and fight it, to keep you healthy and feeling well.  For people who have Lupus, their immune system has a hard time telling the bad stuff, like the flu or a bacterial infection, from the rest of your body.  What causes it is not known yet.  It may be mild, or it may be severe and even go so far as to cause death.

For some reason, it affects women more than men, and its symptoms can vary from person to person.  For Wendy, some of the symptoms include major digestive tract problems and fatigue.  In others, there will be skin rashes, sensitivity to light, headache, heart trouble and more.

At the intake counter, Wendy went through her food list, checking off items that she could eat without discomfort and made a point of asking if she could get some boost or ensure.  Sadly, we were unable to help her with that.  Boost and other meal replacements are not something that we receive very often.  She understood that we depend on donations, and was happy to receive what we were able to provide, but meal replacements can make a real difference when she’s having trouble eating and keeping things down.

Each day, we meet at least one or two (or more) people like Wendy who request some meal replacement drinks.  They may be elderly individuals, who are finding that food doesn’t taste as good as it did, and whose digestive systems are slowing down.  Or, they could be people undergoing chemotherapy, struggling with the symptoms of Hepatitis C and a whole host of other diseases and disorders.

Many of us try to make at least one persons day a little brighter.  Be it forwarding a funny email, or saying something nice to a coworker to lighten the mood around the water cooler.  Consider making the morning, afternoon and evening of someone like Wendy by donating a case of Boost, Ensure or a similar meal replacement drink the next time you’re grocery shopping.  Just one case every other month would go a long way to helping someone maintain their body weight, and have a little more energy each day. You can also donate directly to the House of Friendship by following this link here for more information.

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