by J.O. Parker
When 9-year-old Lilly Bushong learned that the Montezuma Meals on Wheels program was in need, she jumped to action.
Lilly, the daughter of Rex and Kim Bushong, gathered her birthday and chore money, all $22.32 of it, and with the help of her mom, donated the baggie of cash and coins to Montezuma Mayor Jacki Bolen for the meal program.
Word of what Lilly did quickly spread across social media and her gift has spurred others to give, including a classmate. The donation fund has reached $3,200 as of Monday, Dec. 21, and is still growing.
“I think she tugged on everyone’s heartstrings,” said Bolen. “A little girl with a big heart brings out the best in all of us.”
When asked why she did it, Lilly said she wanted to help old people.
“It is so the old people can have more meals and a better life,” she said.
Meals on Wheels is a program to support senior neighbors to extend their independence and health as they age. The meals are made in the kitchen of the Montezuma School and are delivered to 8-10 senior citizens by volunteers Monday through Friday.
“Lilly has enjoyed watching her small donation grow into a substantial donation for this great program,” said her mother, Kim.
“This little act of kindness has sparked the Christmas spirit in our community,” said Cathy Lents, Poweshiek County Extension Director and overseer of the Montezuma Afterschool Clover Kids of which Lilly is a member “Lilly has had so many residents and businesses from the Montezuma area pledging to match her donation. Thank you, Lilly!”
For those who would like to donate, please send checks to Montezuma Schools, 504 N. 4th St., Montezuma, IA 50171. Please write “Meals on Wheels” in the memo line.