A smile, a hug, a willing ear to listen — these are a few of the far-reaching effects felt by community members receiving the services of the Hill Country Community Action Association’s multiservice center in Killeen.
The association is dedicated to providing community support, and employees and volunteers work together to offer assistance, revitalize low-income communities and assist individuals and families in their goals toward reaching financial and personal independence.
Unit services include counseling, referral information, recreation, physical fitness, utility assistance, home weatherization and a program that provides nutritional, home delivered meals to approximately 100 seniors age 60 and older in the Killeen, Harker Heights and Nolanville areas.
But the programs offered would be difficult to sustain without financial support, and the United Way of Greater Fort Hood is one source that provides some much-needed financial assistance.
The United Way sponsors the facility by donating approximately $13,000 per year, or slightly more than 12.5 percent of the Killeen center’s annual operating budget. The multiservice senior center uses the money to help offset the costs of preparing and delivering a hot, nutritional meal to seniors each every Monday through Friday.
The end result yields more than 24,200 meals served throughout the year.
Unit director Sandy Mendoza said without United Way’s contribution, they wouldn’t be able to provide assistance to all those who qualify for the program.
“Without their contribution, we wouldn’t be able to serve as many people,” Mendoza said. “We also provide more than just the meal — our volunteers may be the only visitors these people have, so they spend time with everyone and try to make them feel better about their situation.”
Mendoza said it’s often a struggle for the recipients to maintain their independence, and the nutrition program plays a vital part in keeping them nourished and able to maintain their personal freedom.
All United Way contributions are distributed through the association’s administrative office in San Saba.
“We receive funds from the Greater Fort Hood United Way to help maintain services for our senior nutrition program in Copperas Cove and Killeen. San Saba is the administrative office where the funds are accounted for and budgeted providing oversight for all of our Central Texas programs in San Saba, Mills, Hamilton, Lampasas, Coryell, Bell and Milam counties,” association Executive Director Tama Shaw said. “The Killeen unit also serves as a socialization hub for about 60 regular participants.”
Shaw said anyone with questions is welcome to call or come by the center for referral assistance and talk to the staff or volunteers. The Killeen center is at 916 Reverend Abercrombie Drive. Call 254-699-8888.