“You can’t have love unless you give your love away.” That’s the philosophy of giving that Mary Meoli’s mother passed on to her children and one that Mary and her husband Angelo have embodied throughout their many years together.
The Meolis just celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary and, in keeping with their tradition of giving to others, they each selected a charity and asked their friends and family to donate to those charities in recognition of their lives together. They have been honoring each other in this way since they married in 1962.
Long-time residents of Prince George’s County, Maryland, Mary and Angelo moved to Howard County five years ago to be closer to their family. As they advance through their golden years, they are finding they need to rely more on their friends and family, but that hasn’t stopped their drive to help others. They hold charitable fundraisers in their senior living facility to fulfill their mission of giving back. And every year, they say no to gifts for their wedding anniversary, insisting on gifts going to charities instead.
This year, Angelo selected the Wounded Warrior project and Mary chose the Howard County Food Bank. Their friends and families responded generously. As Mary said, the Meoli family’s philosophy of giving has “helped bring family and the community together.”
When asked why she chose the Food Bank, Mary said because there is so much need; she knows there many families that just don’t have enough food. For many years, she would donate canned goods, but she can no longer do that. Now, she donates funds to help provide good nutritious groceries to those in need.
Mary said she appreciates the response she’s received from the Community Action Council every time she donates; she knows her contribution is being put to good use. She’s always been passionate about helping others and understands that the CAC has the same passion. That’s why, this year, she urged her family and friends to once again skip giving gifts to the couple, and give generously to the Howard County Food Bank instead.