As friends and family prepare to gather across the city for Thanksgiving, Tabitha shares a very special gratitude to Barbara Day. Day was instrumental in developing Tabitha Home Health Care and Tabitha Meals on Wheels programs. These successful programs have delivered peace of mind to friends and neighbors for more than 50 years.
“Day was a courageous visionary who dedicated her life to serving the community,” shared Tabitha President and CEO, Christie Hinrichs. “Among her many accomplishments was her pioneering involvement of both Tabitha Home Health Care and Tabitha Meals on Wheels, for which Tabitha and thousands of Nebraska residents are grateful,” Hinrichs added.
When a friend asked Barbara Day to join the Lincoln Community Chest Board, she had no idea she would soon be following in the footsteps of her community-minded grandmother and making a significant historical impact on Lincoln.
In the first few years, the board conducted a home study and found a desperate need for health care services that would provide in-home support in Lincoln. This uncovered the need to create a program that would provide proper nutrition to older adults who were living independently and suffering from malnutrition.
Working alongside Martha Maseman of Tabitha, Day helped construct a service plan and applied for grants to fund this new in-home initiative. In 1966, their efforts paid off with the groundbreaking launch of Tabitha Home Health Care. The program provides clients customized support including rehabilitation therapies, medication management, skilled nursing and other medical services within the comforts of their home, wherever they call home, throughout 20 Nebraska counties.
A year later Tabitha Meals on Wheels debuted, Lincoln’s first and only service that delivers a hot, nutritious meal to over 500 older adults daily. The program also provides an invaluable face-to-face safety check and has delivered over four million meals to date.
“We owe so much to Day’s forward-thinking,” said long-time, Tabitha Home Health Care Administrator, Charity Ebert, “Every November we celebrate National Home Health Care Month and reflect back on the progress we’ve made. As testament to Day’s hard work our program has been honored as the ‘best of Lincoln’ by residents for nine years in a row.”
It warmed Day’s heart knowing the programs flourished well after she left the board. Growing up, giving back to the community was always a family affair and was a philosophy she wanted to instill in others. “I have so much to give,” Day had stated, “I feel I should share it, and I have.”
Her philosophy and compassion has allowed Tabitha to continue these lifeline programs. Day, who recently passed away, will be greatly missed, but her legacy lives on every day at Tabitha.