Leslie: Recognizing Need In Her Own Backyard
“The one thing you learn when volunteering for Meals on Wheels is that a lot of these seniors are homebound, and their loneliness is a big element. I’ve learned that sometimes they don’t see a lot of people, and it’s nice to take the time to chat, ask how they are doing. We talk about their health and their families. So, I just make sure to schedule time to do that because sometimes they don’t get a lot of interaction.
“Mr. Phillip is one of my special people. He’s very open and loves the interaction. We’ve just become good buds. I’ll usually go inside to sit and talk with him for a while. I’ve gotten to know his history, and he knows mine. Sometimes we’ll talk about politics or whatever. He’s just a really sweet and cool guy.
“I think my favorite part [of volunteering] is the interaction. Actually being able to interface with the people who you are helping is a huge factor for me.”
“One of my other guys, Mr. Watkins, he’s just not a talker, but I found out that he had been sleeping on his couch in his apartment. And he has a terrible back; he’s got all these screws and stuff. So, I told the organization [ACCA], and they were able to get him this really nice memory foam bed.
“Mr. Watkins also loves to sit outside, [and I noticed] he was sitting in literally a broken wooden chair with a piece of plywood on it. I asked him if I could get him a different chair. It was just a lawn chair from Target, but he was thrilled. He acted like I had bought him a throne.
“Volunteering for Meals on Wheels reminds me that there are so many seniors in need. I don’t think people in America realize how many seniors there are that are in real need.
“To be frank, I’m in my sixties, and as an older woman you just realize that we all are not very far away from needing this kind of help. You realize how vulnerable we are. One or two things happen, and you’ll end up also needing this kind of help.
“[Meals on Wheels] is just such an easy thing to do and has an impact on your community. You don’t see how massive the need is [until you volunteer]. It doesn’t take a lot of time, it’s easy to do and it makes a great difference.”
Interested in volunteering for MOW? Please contact our MOW Director, Jen Shaikun at email@example.com