While most of the Meals on Wheels volunteers in Frederick County are retired, every once in a while, we have some young folk who want to get involved in the community. This family is one such example- Melissa and her two daughters, Isabel (16), and Lucy (13) delivered Meals on Wheels for about a year. Although they have moved on to other volunteer experiences, and trying to manage their hectic schedules, we had a chance to ask them a few questions about what it was like to volunteer together as a family. Check it out!
Q: Why did you choose to volunteer with Meals on Wheels?
Isabel (age 16): I chose to volunteer with Meals on Wheels because I want to help old people, and also to put it on my college applications.
Melissa: I chose Meals on Wheels because I like the sense of satisfaction that comes with feeding people. And I love spending a couple hours with my daughter driving from house to house.
Q: Do you have a personal story or experience while volunteering with Meals on Wheels that sticks out to you?
Melissa: I’ve really enjoyed meeting the lovely people on our route. I’ll miss them!
Q: Why do you think it is important to remain active in your community? What other ways are you involved in the community outside of Meals on Wheels?
Isabel: I think it’s important to remain active in your community to better yourself and your community. I haven’t had much time recently, but I plan to also volunteer at the animal shelter.
Melissa: I believe it’s one of the responsibilities of being a citizen to give back to the community. We have an obligation to give to others if we possibly can. It’s good for us, and for the entire community. I’ve volunteered at the Literacy Council, Animal Welfare League, in my daughters’ schools, at the animal shelter, and done trail clean-up at Harper’s Ferry.
Q: How has MOW impacted your life?
Isabel: Helping the people I deliver food to helped me empathize more with them and care for old and sick people more.
Melissa: Makes me so grateful for my health!
Q: Do you feel that volunteering with a family member has brought you closer together?
Isabel: Yes, it was nice to get to talk to my mom in the car a lot.
Melissa: It was wonderful having the girls captive in the car, so they were forced to spend time chatting with me! They took turns helping me, so I got to spend precious one-on-one time with each of them (without the other one around to fight with).
Q: Do you think it is important for younger people to volunteer?
Isabel: I do think it’s important for young people to volunteer because it helps them understand other people better and become better people.
Melissa: Absolutely! Young people are inherently self-centered, so it’s really healthy for them to interact with those less fortunate.
Q: What is one piece of advice you might have for a new Meals on Wheels volunteer wanting to volunteer with their child/family member?
Isabel: Make sure to get there on time because some of the people get annoyed if you’re a little late.
Melissa: Haha! Isabel makes a good point…we were surprised at first by how testy some of our clients were if we delivered their lunch at 11:45 or noon. We learned to make it a priority to get started as early as possible, because older people get up early, and thus, by noon, they are HUNGRY! ; >
Thank you so much to Melissa, Isabel, and Lucy for delivering Meals on Wheels to the community! Your family has made a huge impact!
And if any readers out there are interested in having their young’ns know the joys of volunteerism, please consider Meals on Wheels! Bring your kids, bring your grandkids! It will be a wonderful volunteering experience for the family, and the clients will love the company of the kids.
Jessica Paguirigan is the MOW Volunteer MD Coordinator and contributing writer.