The origin and the mission of Compassion Delivered is expressed concisely in a statement by one of its founders.
“Our organization was formed because of recognizing a need in our community,” said Amanda Anschutz, who, with her husband, Daniel, founded in 2017 a nonprofit organization to reach out arms of assistance to those around the couple who are suffering. “We provide nutritional meals to people coping with life-threatening illnesses and diseases.”
Still, in a very real sense, this sincere desire to help others through a time of misfortune was born years ago inside the heart of Amanda’s grandfather—the “gentle giant,” she said, “who always made everyone he encountered feel special.”
“He always asked people two questions: ‘What do you need?’ and ‘If you died today, where would you spend eternity?’ ” said Anschutz of her grandfather, who passed away in 1999. “He was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease in 1996, but that desire to help others stayed with him. He continued to care for people even when he himself was going through hard times.”
Anschutz carried the memory of her grandfather’s giving with her, along with the example her parents provided in caring for others. Last year, it blossomed into Compassion Delivered.
“My husband and I had talked about making a difference in people’s lives. We believe that this is what we’re called to do and recognize that this is how we can help people in our community,” said Anschutz. “We’ve had people close to us go through some really hard times, and we’ve learned that when you come alongside these people, it can give them an extra boost.”
Their skills support their dedication. Daniel is a chef, and Amanda has experience in marketing and working on fundraising events. The couple met with representatives of area hospitals to verify a need to provide meals for individuals undergoing treatment for diseases.
“I left my full-time job, and now I do this full time,” said Amanda. “My husband still works as a chef but makes all these meals on the side.”
Compassion Delivered operated as a pilot program during 2017, seeking feedback from four clients. Anschutz and her husband began to expand Compassion Delivered in 2018, with a plan for moderate and sustainable growth in the future.
“We hope to bring on 25 to 35 people each year,” Anschutz explained. “Our goal is, in the next five to 10 years, to be throughout northeast Ohio and other parts of Ohio that need our services.”
The staff for Compassion Delivered includes no paid workers. Members of the board for Compassion Delivered have knowledge of finance, business, marketing, social work and dietary needs. Volunteers wishing to help can email Compassion Delivered at email@example.com, while potential clients can call 330-575-0996. People wishing to make donations can go through the organization’s website compassiondelivered.org or call for an address to which they can send a check.
“We provide our meals to our clients at no cost; that’s important to us,” said Anschutz. “People who are battling illness, the last thing they have is money, but food is critical at that time.”
Weekly meals—delivered on Fridays—include three entrees and two soups. “We do our best to also include bread, milk, fruit and a small dessert or two,” says information on the Compassion Delivered website. Each meal is ample enough in quantity to be split into multiple servings.
“All of our clients said that it does last through the whole week,” Anschutz said.
Meals are appetizing as well as nutritious. Initial clients said that the meals “looked like somebody had taken extra time to prepare them.”
“When we started this, we thought we would help change people’s lives,” said Anschutz. “But the people we have served have changed our lives. We’ve been humbled. Families have allowed us to come into their lives, and our lives have been completely turned upside down in a positive way.”