Jerry & Janie Gilmore
Jerry and Janie have been married just eight and a half years, but these two long-time Dallas residents have been passionate about giving back for much longer. Their volunteer activities are centered around their involvement at Highland Park United Methodist, meeting with their friends each Sunday morning and Wednesday nights for a Bible study group that loves to invest in the community.
The focus of all of their volunteering is Meals on Wheels. For almost 30 years Janie has been driving a monthly route to deliver hot lunches to homebound seniors in Dallas. Driving across the Trinity River into West Dallas is a rewarding adventure for Janie, and now Jerry as well. "It breaks your heart to a point, but you think, we’re the only person that they see all day. We are a friendly knock on the door for people never get to go anywhere. And Meals on Wheels is serving more purpose than just bringing them a hot meal at noon. We always stand in their doorway and visit with them for a few minutes. It makes their day but it makes ours too," said Janie.
Another way that Jerry and Janie are making a difference in Dallas is their involvement with the residents at Dickinson Place Apartments. Owned by Highland Park United Methodist Church since the early 1970's, Dickinson Place offers low-income senior citizens a safe and comfortable place to call home. Janie and Jerry offer their time twice a year to plan a Valentine Party and a Hamburger cookout for the residents. Jerry, a life-long lover of music, leads the group in hymns and Janie spends time building relationships with everyone who attends.
Internationally, Jerry recently returned from a Highland Park United Methodist mission trip to Costa Rica. There the team worked to build a multi-purpose center at a care center for rescued street children outside San Jose. The care center is also the focus of Janie's giving each holiday season. Every Christmas Janie chooses a project to support in honor of her grandchildren, one year she funded a playground expansion and another she paid for swimming lessons for all 24 kids. Janie shared, "I want my grandchildren to know what it means to help people around the world."
Because of Janie and Jerry, there are many people across Dallas and across the globe who have been given love, community, and a warm meal.
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