When Carrie Thipps was struggling to lift her husband, who has not been able to walk for years, she received unexpected help from a woman she calls her angel.
“Kathy is a person who’s got a big heart. She loves everybody,” Thipps said of Kathy Edens, executive director of Meals on Wheels, Horry County. “She loves her job. She loves to help a lot of people who need it. She’s concerned when she sees a person is not getting what they need.
“To me, she’s my special angel because she has helped me out a lot.”
Thipps has known Edens for about as long as the local Meals on Wheels chapter has been around, which is since 2009. Meals on Wheels provides home-delivered meals services to people in need.
“She lifts me up whenever she comes in our home,” Thipps said. “She’s God’s gift to people who need her.”
Edens volunteers to help pack meals and distribute them to some of the volunteer drivers who take meals to the elderly from Surfside Beach, Conway, Myrtle Beach, Little River and everywhere in between. She relies heavily on her faith to find funding for the organization, and has done so since Meals on Wheels served its first meal Jan. 16, 2009.
“This is my passion,” Edens said. “I like older people. Maybe it’s because I’m closer to their age that I can relate to them. It’s helping somebody who can’t help themselves. I just wanted to help people.”
Though Edens does just about all roles, she does have her favorite.
“I have always told my volunteers it’s the best natural high you’ll ever get delivering to these folks because they’re so appreciative,” Edens said. “It gives me a chance to touch base with the clients and see how they’re doing. That’s the neat part about it, is sitting down and visiting with these people.”
Edens credits her passion and instinct for helping people to God and says her “spiritual gift” is hospitality.
“My mother had a kind heart and wanted to help people,” she said. “Perhaps some of my wanting to help people came from her.”
Edens said the organization receives financial help from places like The Farm subdivision and the Myrtle Beach Coin Club to assist serving its current 68 clients. None of the proceeds goes to pay personnel.
“It’s a labor of love. What can I say?” Edens said. “If you really love something, sometimes you’re crazy enough to do it without pay.
“It’s a neat thing to know that you’re helping somebody. That’s just the best part about what we do.”
Thipps is certainly a fan of Edens’ passion.
“She’s excellent in her job and in what she’s doing, because she’s concerned to make sure everybody gets something to eat,” Thipps said. “She’s a giving person. She’s just my angel.”
Contact JASON M. RODRIGUEZ at 626-0301 or follow him at Twitter.com/TSN_jrodriguez.