The 12 Millionth Meal with Bill

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The 12 Millionth Meal with Bill

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Being part of Project Angel Food is a blessing. As a volunteer during the height of the AIDS crisis, I saw the spiritual magic of delivering food to sick people. And now, at age 82 and sick myself with debilitating arthritis, I receive food as a client. I’d like to tell you about my journey and encourage you to help this amazing organization.

It all started in 1989, when Project Angel Food was operating out of a church in West Hollywood. I was volunteering as part of the local Alcoholics Anonymous group. I credit AA not only for helping me stay sober for the past 44 years; but for also introducing me to real angels on Earth.Project Angel Food is a true blessing for Los Angeles’ most vulnerable residents. They deliver food, comfort and love to more than 1,400 homebound people living with critical illness. Will you support them with a donation?

On one fateful day, when starting my deliveries, I was shocked to discover that a deep, great love of mine from the 1970s was on the list of sick men and women who had AIDS and received meals. I asked the wonderful actress in charge of the food deliveries, Freddie Weber, if I could add his name to my delivery list. She agreed and it brought about a great and welcomed change in my life.

On that first visit, when he opened the front door that incredible day, I stood trembling, not knowing what would happen. He was so surprised to see me his eyes • widened and his jaw nearly dropped to the floor. As we both dissolved in tears, he grabbed me in a big bear hug, almost crushing me against his once gigantic 6’3″ frame, which by then was almost skeletal. As I visited through the afternoon, we tearfully accepted amends to one another.

All the bitterness, sadness and anger over the past had melted away into a deep, everlasting love, which grew every day I was at his home. I delivered meals to him for the rest of his life, until he died in 1990.  AA is why I started volunteering for Project Angel Food; finding this man, one of the great loves of my life, is why I continued. I got there just in time for us to rekindle our relationship.  Cut to 30 years later and here I am living in a one-bedroom Hollywood complex for low­ income LGBT seniors.

 

What a surprise and great honor it was when the fabulous restaurateur, television personality and philanthropist Lisa Vanderpump knocked on my front door this summer to deliver me Project Angel Food’s 12 millionth meal! I adore Lisa. So much so, that I voted for her on Dancing with the Stars. But I especially love her because she’s doing a magnificent service for fellow human beings through her involvement with Project Angel Food.

And naturally, as a food lover, Lisa asked me what I thought about Project Angel Food’s medically-tailored meals. I told her they’re most delicious, and even though I enjoy meat from time to time, I choose to receive their vegetarian meals because I believe it’s the healthier way to eat. The meals have also helped me lose weight-something I’ve struggled with on and off for years.

Project Angel Food relies on the generosity of others. Won’t you make a donation so that someone like me, who’s sick and hungry, can receive the nourishment they so desperately need?

During Lisa’s visit, she took the time to talk with me, to listen to me. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine I’d get to tell her some of my life’s most colorful moments: growing up along a dirt road in Louisiana; living in New York as a theater and film actor; becoming good friends with Carrie Fisher and getting to kiss Elizabeth Taylor; and receiving a master’s degree in clinical psychology at age 65.

I also told her about my son Chuck and daughter Shawn. Chuck died earlier this year from liver cancer at age 56. I still miss him dearly and start to cry if I think about him too much. But it’s people like Tim, my meal delivery driver, who can lift my spirits when I’m feeling down. I look forward to his warmth and kindness every Thursday. And his smile is just the cherry on top.   

With a donation to Project Angel Food, you’ll be making an incredible statement to people who are often forgotten. Will you support this wonderful charity?

Thirty years ago, I never could’ve imagined just how incredible a journey I would have with this organization. From volunteering to becoming a client, I have seen love every step of the way. Thank you Project Angel Food.

Sincerely,

 

 

 

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