Take Me Out to the Ball Game: An unlikely duo find common ground through baseball and Meals on Wheels
David and Luther
“My wife, Benita, first volunteered for Meals on Wheels, but had some other things come up. Benita said, ‘I think it’s time for me to give up the route.’ And I had actually ridden with her a couple of times and was semi-retired. So, I said don’t give it up. Let me take it over. I needed something to do other than playing golf five days a week.
“I have four people on my route right now, and the good news is that there is plenty of time to engage and get to know them – like Luther.
“Luther is always sitting outside of his apartment if the weather was decent, and our friendship just kind of evolved. There was a chair. So, I’d sit down for a second, and we’d talk and get to know each other.
“A lot of the time he had on his Marine Corps hat. So, he’d tell me about that. When you see somebody every week, even at just a few minutes a week, you get to know them over the course of several years.
“I didn’t really expect to develop deep relationships through Meals on Wheels. Volunteering went beyond just being a good thing to do. I knew that I would get something out of it by feeling good from knowing that I was doing a good thing. But, I didn’t expect to develop close relationships and know these people’s life stories as much as I do.
“Luther and I come from different backgrounds, but we have some interests that have helped us develop a friendship. He’s a Reds fan, and I’m a big Braves fan. I’m a UGA grad, and he’s an Ohio State fan. So, there’s a little trash talking.
“When the Reds were in town last year, I got this crazy idea. I said ‘Luther, if I can get tickets to this Braves/Red’s game, would you be interested in going down and watching the ball game?’ And he was. So, we went down and watched the game.
“The Braves won that series. They took three out of four. But, the one game we went to, Cincinnati beat the stew out of us. It was awful as a Braves fan, but I was happy that if they were only going to win one game, they won the game that Luther was at. It was a good time.
“Between volunteers, staff and clients there really is a community within Meals on Wheels. And community is a big, big deal — not just for the clients. The service you’re providing is not just delivering the meals.
“In some cases you may be the only person that that person sees that day or for a few days. It’s a big deal and it’s good for them, but it’s good also for you. I really do believe that Jesus knew what He was talking about when He said it was better to give than to receive. It’s been an awesome blessing in my life. I’ve gotten to develop friendships with folks who I’d never have a chance to meet if it wasn’t for this program.”
Interested in learning more about Meals on Wheels? Please visit accaging.org/services/meals/meals-on-wheels/.