Q& A: Why is Volunteering as a Family Awesome?

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.

comic 1
Lynn Johnston’s For Better or For Worse comic strip might be reflecting the way Isabel will feel later on after committing herself to amazing volunteer work!

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. Continue reading

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‘Groceries for Seniors’ Provides Nutritious Food to County Residents at February 6 Event

Article written by Jeff Trewhitt and recently printed in the The Frederick County Guide.

2015 Feb 6 GfS Sign

More than 90 Frederick County households, or 152 residents, received donated food from ‘Groceries for Seniors’ at the Frederick Senior Center on Friday, February 6.

A partnership of the Frederick County Department of Aging, the Western Maryland branch of the Maryland Food Bank and Seed of Life, Inc., the program provides groceries to qualified residents on the first Friday of every month at the Frederick Senior Center, 1440 Taney Ave., from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m.

A key goal of Groceries for Seniors is to provide more vegetables and foods with proteins, which are often the most expensive products in stores.  Such nutritious foods can also be difficult to obtain at food banks, which often provide products loaded with carbohydrates. The program will provide fresh seasonal produce when available, as well as canned goods and other products. Although the available food varies at each event, one might find canned sliced carrots, canned spaghetti sauce, canned salmon, milk, and orange juice among the items to take home. Continue reading

“Everybody has a story”: Volunteer Spotlight on Don Mattingly

“There was a man I used to deliver to, and when I first started delivering to him, he was upset because he wanted his meals to arrive earlier. I told him I could switch around the route so that I deliver to him first instead of last. He seemed to like that.

And then I told him, ‘Now I am a man of my word, so I will get you these Meals on Wheels every Wednesday so long as I am able. Even if my car breaks down in the middle of the winter, and I have no shoes or coat, I will walk in the blistery cold to your doorstep so that you get these meals. You have my word.’ After that, he seemed to open up to me.  We were good friends and we would talk for a bit whenever I would deliver to him. Continue reading

“Something Nice”: A MoW Volunteer Story

In honor of the upcoming holiday, I would like to share a quote from Martin Luther King, Jr.: “Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it.” While this very powerful quote delves deeper into meanings and sentiments that I will not explore in this blog, it relays the simple vision that love is strong and serves to make this world a much better place. Even the smallest act of love and kindness can make a huge impact.

Here is one such example of this principle:

*disclaimer: names have been changed at the volunteer’s request, and direct quotes have been paraphrased*

Yesterday, one of my volunteers, Sharla, strolled into the office with a brown plastic grocery bag in hand. She said, “I want to share something nice with you. You like nice things, don’t you?” Continue reading

Meals on Wheels Provides Food, Companionship and Safety Monitoring

Lisa Renn, a fellow Meals on Wheels (MoW) volunteer driver, articulated on the phone the other day precisely what I think is one of the key benefits of the program:  the volunteers delivering meals provide companionship and every day, they monitor the well-being of recipients.  MoW involves far more than just the delivery of nutritious food.

“I think being lonely is something that is underrated today,” Renn said.  “A lot of people don’t have someone looking out for them and I think it is good just having an extra set of eyes on them [when we deliver meals to their homes].” Continue reading