ODESSA, Texas (Big 2/Fox 24) Remarkable women are everywhere in our community. They lead up and inspire us to make a difference. December, we are highlighting six incredible women in the Permian Basin that are committed to their community.
Margaret Burton is the executive director of the Meals on Wheels of Odessa, where she has dedicated the last 25 years to making sure homebound seniors and Odessans never go hungry. When Burton started, the program served 140 clients, and now 570 people rely on the daily meals being delivered every week from Monday through Friday in Odessa.
“I think it’s very, very important because if you are homebound, that house becomes your world. They’re isolated and homebound, and many can’t see to drive, and they don’t have the funds. Most of them were on a very low income and social security when the wages were low. These are the people that made Odessa great, and it’s our time to help.“Margaret Burton, Executive Director, Meals on Wheels of Odessa
Before Meals on Wheels, Burton has been making a difference in the Odessa community. Her resume includes serving as a City Councilwoman and was the second director of the Rape Crisis Center, now known as the Crisis Center of West Texas.
“A lot of nights were spent in emergency rooms with victims. And I talked a lot of counseling in bed listening on the phone, and it was a good program.”Margaret Burton, Executive Director, Meals on Wheels of Odessa
Burton says she is grateful for her family and the endless support they have given her. She said her late husband encouraged her to do what she loved, even if it meant getting calls in the night or staying up and counseling those in need.
Even when Burton ran for office, she said her three children had all the numbers and locations of fast-food restaurants memorized so they could order dinner.
Burton wants to continue to inspire the next generation to volunteer and find a cause their heart belongs to.
“I want them to be involved; I don’t care where their heart is. Be involved in the community: some way or another,” said Burton.
As the volunteers of Meals on Wheels in Odessa continue to retire, Burton is encouraging more people to get involved. She said even giving two hours a month, that time can make a big difference helping fulfill the 32 daily routes.
Burton also prides herself on transparency and sticking to her word and Burton said, “I am very conservative and people who give money, get what they want and it goes to where they want it to. Our United Way dollars or agricultural grant did not go to overhead. Everything goes to the program. Let the people know where their money is going.”
Extended Conversation with Margaret Burton: Learn more about Meals on Wheels of Odessa
We want to continue highlighting women making a difference, and on December 7th through December 20th, the community will have the opportunity to nominate remarkable women they know on www.YourBasin.com.