Website helps aunt coordinate meals for Josh Wandell’s family
Published 8:36 am Friday, August 7, 2015
One day when Josh Wandell’s aunt Sheila visited him over the summer, she was inspired to seek a way to ensure the family could always count on having a home-cooked meal.
“I was helping out when hungry teenagers came in the kitchen asking what was for dinner,” she said. “I asked Tabitha, Josh’s wife, if anyone brought them food. She told me one person from her church group had furnished meals once a week for the past few months and the kids looked forward to it.”
Sheila immediately took to the Internet to see if there was a way to organize more meal deliveries to the family.
She found a website called TakeThemAMeal.com. The site is set up to allow a coordinator like Sheila to schedule dates and times that work with the family and people in the community who want to help.
Josh, who turns 37 this month, was diagnosed with ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease, in 2013 before he stepped down as East Side Elementary School principal at the end of the last school year.
“Since Josh is now disabled and Tabitha is going back to work, I reached out to get more meals, and the response has been a blessing,” she said. “Josh has made a difference in many, many people’s lives.”
The community has always been quick to support the Wandell’s through this difficult time and in this case it’s no different.
The Wandells are now completely booked. It only took three days to have a full schedule, Sheila said. Volunteers were able to pick a date Monday-Thursday from August to December.
“Josh’s family is very thankful for the kindness of neighbors and friends for signing up to ‘take them a meal,’ ” Sheila said.
Sheila hopes this initiative inspires others in the community to do the same for their families.
“The website was easy to register and I shared the request on Facebook,” she said. “The website sends a reminder before the meal is due and myself and other family members are on stand by to take a meal in the event someone was unable to take a meal on the day they signed up for. This is a great way to help families facing a serious illness.”
Another benefit Sheila found in using the website was the option to include what the meal will be.
“It also lists what they are receiving each day so the family won’t get five chicken casseroles in one week,” she said. “It only took a few minutes to set up the request online and the response has been wonderful.”
Another result from posting the opportunity online was that several church groups are now in line to help in the future.
“Josh’s children are 15, 13, and 12 and hungry teenagers like to eat,” she said. “The generosity of others will make it easier on Josh’s family as the kids go back to school and his wife goes back to work as a school teacher.”
For more information about Josh’s battle, visit teamwandell.com.