Local Longhorns are embarking on a project to show how much they care about people and pets.
For the 2013 version of an event called Project Worldwide, members of Texas Exes Johnson County Chapter will deliver Ani-Meals to Meals-on-Wheels recipients around the county who have pets.
“Deliveries are made once a month on the first Saturday, and since our service project is done in February, the timing worked out perfectly for us,” said Ann Murphy of Cleburne, chapter president.
Project Worldwide is a new name for an event which was held for the first time just last year under the name of Texas Exes CARE About The Project. The service initiative for chapters of Texas Exes all over the world is a by-product of an event called The Project held annually by students of The University of Texas at Austin on the last Saturday in February.
The students are involved in improving the neighborhoods surrounding the campus, and the Exes are making improvements in their own communities.
“In 2012, we cleaned and beautified P.D. Lacewell Park in Cleburne,” Murphy said. “We decided early on that we wanted to move the project to the various towns in the county, and for this year, we chose Burleson. But we did not have a specific project in mind.
“After talking to Burleson residents who are involved in all sorts of volunteer efforts in that city, we decided the greatest need was for Ani-Meals deliveries.”
When they contacted Meals-on-Wheels of Johnson and Ellis Counties, based in Cleburne, the Exes learned that deliveries are made in Cleburne and Alvarado on the same day as those in Burleson.
“There again, it was perfect for us, as we are a county-wide organization,” noted Murphy.
The deliveries of dog and cat food will be made Feb. 2, with pick up of the food beginning at 10 a.m. The food is pre-sacked according to the size of the pet and boxed by route. Meals-on Wheels provides detailed driving directions.
Eleven teams of two or more volunteers each are needed to deliver to residents on four routes in Burleson, six in Cleburne and one in Alvarado.
“All UT graduates, as well as friends and fans of The University, are invited to show their Longhorn spirit by participating,” Murphy said. “We know many of them are pet lovers who also have a place in their hearts for the elderly.”
According to Meals-on-Wheels, dogs and cats are more than just pets to many of their recipients. They offer friendship, joy and a reason for living. Animal ownership has been shown to lower illness levels and mortality rates, but many among the elderly lack the resources to maintain companion pets.
Anyone who can commit to help with the project can call Murphy at 817-477-7588 or the event chairmen, Fred and Susie Sarchet, at 817-558-9126.
All volunteers are asked to attend an organizational meeting at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Susannah’s Homestyle Restaurant, 1514 W. Henderson St., to learn details such as pick-up locations for the routes and what to do in case of inclement weather.
“Everyone should wear something burnt orange and white on the delivery day, and after we finish our routes, we will meet for lunch to celebrate and to take a group picture — all making the Hook ’em sign, of course,” Murphy said.
SUGGESTED CUTLINE: Texas Exes board members, from left, Ann Murphy, president, and Belinda Linstrum, scholarship chairman, both of Cleburne; Kim Amis of Rio Vista, webmaster; Joan Leach, secretary-treasurer, and Brad Wooldridge, president-elect, both of Burleson; and Linda Neeley of Alvarado, membership chairman.