Initially, I became a Meals on Wheels volunteer about 10 years ago with a former MOW volunteer who passed way in 2009. A couple years after he died, I decided to continue volunteering in honor of his memory. Meals on Wheels is about making the lives of those in need a little easier and also to form healthy relationships with adults who need us. Most of the clients are elderly and bringing them meals, talking and socializing with them reminds me of good times with my own grandparents, who has since passed on. Many of the residents have really moved me and shown a deep appreciation for what we do as volunteers. For instance, Ms. M says that I am her favorite volunteer and Ms. P has told me on more than one occasion that she loves me.
As for volunteering, do it if you have free time. It will be one of the more rewarding experiences of your life. The appreciation that some of our clients show will warm your heart. Everybody should give back a little to make the world and life a little easier for those in need. Someday you may be in need of others to help you.
What I like best about volunteering is serving and socializing with residents. I like knowing they are eating at least one good meal a day. There are also times we play bingo on Thursdays and host potluck parties on the holidays. One time, I was in an auto accident which prevented me from serving at Garner, the congregation sent me cards and showed their love.
I volunteer out of St. Andrews Presbyterian Church in North Raleigh, delivering meals every week. The reason I volunteer is the joy I feel when people share their appreciation and successes with me. There is a good feeling visiting with people every week and knowing that I am the only person they see all day. I deliver meals because I love seeing the smiles and the warm words from the people I meet. I also volunteer to deliver meals because it inspires me to do more. The older adults on my route are very appreciative of the meals. Perhaps the socialization is the best part as I spend as much time as possible with each client.
There are several residents that have moved me over the years. One Client, Ms. V, to whom I delivered meals for over 12 years, she had significant health issues, but was always concerned about how I was doing. She always offered me a bottle of water so that I could remain hydrated. There was Ms. W, with cancer, who was pursuing a Wake Tech medical certificate, once she received her certificate, she proudly displayed it to me when I delivered her next meal. Then there was Mr. H, who cared for his wife of 65 years with Alzheimer’s, and had several health issues of his own. After his wife passed, I developed a close relationships with Mr. H, and our visits are very long. In spite of the problems he faces, he has a very positive outlook on life. He is a true inspiration to me.
Finally, I volunteer and deliver meals because it’s the right thing to do, providing food to people in need. It just doesn’t get any more basic than that! If you’re thinking about volunteering for Meals on Wheels, I’d like to say to you, Come on in- the water’s great!