Lunch was served with an extra treat to homebound seniors throughout Santa Clara County when 49ers Colt McCoy, Michael Thomas and Tony Jerod-Eddie delivered hot meals door-to-door as part of the Health Trust's Meals on Wheels program at the Food Basket in San Jose. Sysco volunteers formed an assembly line to prepare one hundred bags of nutritional essentials to be distributed to homeless the following day, while the 49ers trio conquered the delivery routes to ensure Health Trust's senior clients and individuals with physical limitations could enjoy a warm meal prepared to fit their dietary needs. Health Trust's vision is to make Silicon Valley the healthiest region in America by providing services to help individuals achieve optimal health, regardless of income, ethnicity or age. According to the Silicon Valley Index, obesity rates in middle-aged and senior citizen residents of Silicon Valley are at an all-time high, thus the Health Trust's mission of feeding 400 individuals per day is not only a good deed, but crucial to bettering the lives and health of the community.
"It is important that our clients receive a nutritious, hot meal every day to stimulate their health," stated Health Trust Chief Executive Officer Frederick Ferrer, "Our drivers deliver the meals, provide a health check, and return the following day which not only means a significant amount to us, but as well as to our clients who may be more lonely, isolated, or lack support systems."
After packing ten bags full of food, milk, juice, and 49ers collectibles, the 49ers began their journey. As individuals opened their door, a moment of shock was overcome by smiles as clients realized their daily visit with Chuck, a veteran volunteer of the Food Basket, had become an unexpected rendezvous with a professional quarterback, safety, and defensive end. Whether it was handing an autographed football to a speechless Mr. Nguyen, or giving a hug to Eloisa, it was clear that McCoy, Thomas and Jerod-Eddie had brightened the day of some of Health Trust's most special clients.
"It reminds you of the impact someone can have just by contributing time to visit with some special people," expressed 49ers safety, Michael Thomas, "In turn, it was a heartwarming and humbling experience for us."
The 49ers made their last stop at Donna's house. Donna has followed the 49ers since she was a child and recalled stories of attending games in the 1980s with her father. The three players listened intently, enthusiastically engaging in conversation and friendly debate as she discussed details of Sunday's game. As if they had just enjoyed visiting with a coach or close family member, McCoy, Thomas and Jerod-Eddie said farewell with a hug, mutual respect, and memories from an encounter they will hold onto for years to come.
"Her eyes lit up when she saw we were part of the 49ers and we could tell she was a genuine fan who had attended games for years," said quarterback Colt McCoy of Donna, "It was really special for us."
The 49ers will continue to impact people like Donna throughout the months of November and December as they organize a series of holiday events to benefit the underserved of Santa Clara and surrounding cities. A day of service off the field is not only humbling, but provides a source of fuel and motivation as the team embarks on the remainder of the season. "It was overall a great day," said defensive end, Tony Jerod-Eddie, "Being out in the community, helping brighten someone's day--being involved in an event like this truly impacts us and becomes a real highlight in all we do."