Twice a week, Ernie Remedies can be seen carting several meals throughout Copperas Cove.
Tuesdays and Thursdays are his weekly runs for the Hill Country Community Action Association Meals on Wheels program. As a volunteer for the program, Remedies delivers between five and seven meals a week.
It takes him about an hour to distribute the food, but Remedies always finds some time to talk to each resident receiving a meal. For most of the residents, it is the only time they get a visitor.
“He has served Meals on Wheels forever,” said Bob Goodwin, a friend and fellow Exchange Club member of Remedies. “He volunteers all the time but never asks for anything.”
Because of his volunteer efforts, Remedies was selected as the Copperas Cove Exchange Club’s Book of Golden Deeds honoree for 2013.
The honor is the national organization’s longest-running recognition, the Exchange Club’s website stated. It recognizes dedicated residents who give their talent and endless hours of their time toward making their communities better places to live. It is given to residents and rarely to club members.
35 years with Exchange Club
During Remedies’ 35-year stint with the Copperas Cove Exchange Club and more than 37 years as a Cove resident, he has contributed to numerous efforts for assisting the elderly.
Remedies is known for helping create the Sunshine Home Exchange Club Apartment Complex, Mayor John Hull said.
The Copperas Cove Exchange Club, which included Remedies at the time, started looking to build the facility in 1987. It took four years and lots of trips to Fort Worth to discuss plans with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Remedies said. By the end of discussions, the Cove Exchange Club secured a $4 million grant to build the apartment complex.
“There was a need for a senior to have a place where they could live without care,” Remedies said.
The Sunshine house still provides them with the ability to live on their own, which makes some elderly people happy.
After the grant, the club then erected a 49-unit one-bedroom nonassisted living center for residents 62 and older.
“In 1993, we moved the first resident in,” Remedies said. “It felt good because the Sunshine Home was strictly organized by Exchange volunteers.”
During the facility’s construction, fundraising and grant acquisition, Remedies served as the building’s supervisor.
After its construction, he served at least six years on the building corporation board, information from the Exchange Club stated. He also volunteered as its manager when administrators left the position.
Other volunteer efforts
The Sunshine Home isn’t the only place where Remedies volunteered. He supported the Exchange Club’s efforts to prevent child abuse by serving as president of the Central Texas Prevention of Child Abuse Center for two years . He also supports more routine child abuse prevention programs by the club.
Remedies also was the director of the city’s fire and police commission and a police chief advisory committee member. He has served in numerous local, state and national Exchange Club positions.
“He does a lot of these things, and most people don’t even know he has done them,” Hull said, speaking of his character. “He gets no notoriety for volunteering.”
“It is just one of those things you can’t say no to,” Remedies said.