Harvey and Sylvia: Discovering Unexpected Friendships
“I first learned about Meals on Wheels through our neighbors, Tom and Ann, who have each been handling routes on Monday mornings for probably fifteen years. Having heard of many of their experiences, Tom allowed me to ride with him on his route one Monday morning. That’s all it took for me to see the value and joy that Tom brought to his MOW recipients’’ lives, and I decided that I wanted to follow suit. I had the time and energy, there was the opportunity and need, so I signed up.
“I have been a volunteer with the Athens Community Council on Aging’s Meals on Wheels program for about eight years now. My wife, Sylvia, joined me in this service a couple of years ago, and together we handle two different weekly routes – one in Winder and one in Athens.
“One of the things that I was surprised by is that we’ve become really attached to virtually all our clients. I expected to say hello to our recipients, hand them their meals, and be on our way .It hasn’t worked that way at all for us. In spending just a few minutes with them, we’ve learned about their joys, their struggles, their families and we’ve shared some heartaches with some.
“Unfortunately, five of our clients have experienced the death of someone in their household or passed on themselves, and we feel that we’ve shared in that loss. We even attended the graveside service of one of our clients.
“Sylvia and I have developed a deep appreciation for what ACCA has to offer Clarke and Barrow County residents with real needs. Obviously, we know more about the MOW program than about many of the other services offered. But, through reading materials and mailings, we know that there is a need, and ACCA works hard to meet those needs. We have enjoyed getting to know and work with several of the staff members and appreciate their caring attitudes.
“Sylvia and I have been blessed in so many ways, especially with good health and energy, and we look at our service as a way to give back to those who need some help. We look forward to our trips on Monday and Wednesday mornings, and consider this as an opportunity to live out our faith.
“There is still much need in Clarke and Barrow Counties, which means there is still a need for volunteers. I would encourage anyone who is interested to give it a try. I know that we would be happy to have anyone ride along with us to see what is involved!”
Interested in volunteering for MOW? Please contact our MOW Director, Jen Shaikun at email@example.com