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Donor Jerry and Client Allan: Friends Until the End

Legacy Society member and lifelong friend to Allan, Jerry Rehm

Not everyone finds lifelong friends at work, but that’s not the case for donor Jerry Rehm and his friend and former God’s Love client, Allan. The two first met in 1980 as professionals in the book publishing industry. At the time, Jerry lived in Dallas and Allan lived in NYC. Once Jerry moved to D.C. and was able to visit the city often, he and Allan became “best buddies.”

Although Jerry loved visiting Allan in New York, the majority of their friendship was cultivated on the telephone in between trips. Jerry treasured those long afternoons chatting with his friend, listening in on the larger moments of Allan’s life – a new dance performance, the latest show he caught – and moments from the every day.

When Allan began sharing his health complications with Jerry – he had been a professional dancer and damaged his legs along the way – his mobility severely declined and he needed help. Allan, who loved all styles of dance, could no longer move around his small apartment with ease, and even getting up from a chair was difficult. Jerry grew increasingly worried about his friend, as Allan could no longer grocery shop or cook for himself.

When a mutual friend referred Allan to God’s Love We Deliver, Jerry and Allan felt immediately reassured. Allan was living on a fixed income, so receiving free, nutritious meals made a huge help overnight. Jerry shares:

“Your services made a huge difference for him. It was always such a grueling task to just do the basics… I was more comfortable with the idea that [with God’s Love We Deliver] he could get food that was nutritious and simple to prepare.”

Jerry continues, “When I did visit, I was immediately aware that there was more food in the house – his freezer was stocked up with things that they’d brought that week! It just made me feel good that there was definitely good food around.”

And while Jerry felt relieved for his friend, he knew that Allan felt the benefits of our home-delivered, medically tailored meals in his body and his soul. Jerry tells us, “I certainly know he appreciated it. I can imagine that you sign on to institutional food and you say ‘Never will there be a meal that I’m excited about.’ But every week, Allan had food in his fridge that he was excited about.”

From afar, Jerry watched his friend’s mobility and health decline, but Allan’s spirits remained high. During one of their phone calls, Allan shared with Jerry how important the human contact of each meal delivery was.

In loving memory: Jerry’s friend, Allan

“The delivery person was one of the people he talked to regularly. They weren’t extensive conversations, but there was a sense of pleasure, or comfort, or just what we count on in terms of social interaction that came from that.”

With our medically tailored meals in his fridge, Jerry could see his friend focus on the other needs in his life like attending his doctor appointments and balancing his checkbook. Gone were the stressors of how or what he was going to eat.

Allan was on our program for three years, and Jerry saw in real-time how our meals made a difference to his friend. Jerry tells us:

“It changed his life in a lot more ways than just food. The way you do your services keeps a person’s dignity intact. … The way you dealt with him was high-level respectful.

Jerry continues, “At no time did he express anything other than “these people are great!” and he would have told me if that was not the case. Your services were consistent, were so thoughtful, and, so importantly, always kind. Thank you for treating my friend with such dignity and care. I’ll be grateful to you always.”

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