By Kim Meyer-Webb | Photography by Dero Sanford | Hair by Jordan Carter | Makeup by Stephanie Duty with Faces by Stephanie | Wardrobe from Dillard’s | Cupcakes & Cakes provided by Kathleen Lawson with Sprinkles & Spice and Kelli Marks with Sweet Love Bakery
“The power of words and actions cannot be underestimated; we try to encourage reasons to celebrate growing older.”
A conversation among friends introduced Meredith Hale to CareLink and the invaluable resources the organization provides to aging Arkansans. Today, as CareLink Director of Development & Marketing, she connects clients and their families with these resources – providing ample opportunities to live more independently later in life.
From fitness and wellness classes to Meals on Wheels and HomeCare, CareLink offers older people and caregivers in Central Arkansas the tools to navigate available options. It’s also recognized as the Central Arkansas Area Agency on Aging – acting as an advocate in Faulkner, Lonoke, Monroe, Prairie, Pulaski, and Saline Counties. “I’ve realized despite all the years we have to prepare for it, aging seems to sneak up on most of us,” Meredith explains. “CareLink helps create a discussion about this sensitive subject and practical choices.” She realizes the organization offers peace of mind to families who have loved ones looking for assistance. “The power of words and actions cannot be underestimated; we try to encourage reasons to celebrate growing older.”
Statistics indicate that too many seniors in Central Arkansas face food insecurity, often the result of lack of transportation or nearby food sources. That makes nutritious, accessible meals from Meals on Wheels essential for many aging residents. “Our homebound clients are often the most gracious. They face daily challenges with simple tasks they used to do with ease and providing meals can often alleviate some of that stress,” explains CareLink President & CEO Luke Mattingly. “Strong leadership is critical to our mission; it brings together the generous hearts of our staff, volunteers and our mission-based activities. Meredith plays a pivotal role in our communication strategy. She not only facilitates critical fundraising for CareLink, she’s invested her heart and mind in our future.”
Meredith will welcome friends and patrons to Cupcakes for Goodness Sake later this month. The afternoon will showcase Central Arkansas bakers – like Kelli Marks with Sweet Love Bakery and Kathleen Lawson with Sprinkles & Spice – and sweet treats that are guaranteed to delight. “Where else in the state can you sample cupcakes and support a nonprofit organization like CareLink?” Meredith jokes. But in all seriousness, she believes facilitating conversations that explore topics that are important to the seniors in our community is the icing on the cake. “It brings people of all ages together to change the way we talk about and consider aging. We hope to highlight how completely normal and positive it can be.”
Proceeds from Cupcakes for Goodness Sake support the services that CareLink provides to clients. “Most of what CareLink does in the community is at no cost to the person receiving the services,” Meredith adds. “It’s also about raising awareness and making people think about who they are going to call when they need to help – creating a sense of community that is essential to quality of life.”