30x30x30 Charity Partner in Smyrna: Meals on Wheels

September 6, 2017

I was introduced to Meals on Wheels through my local Rotary chapter in Smyrna. Before volunteering with Meals on Wheels, I didn’t know much about the program, but I’ve learned a lot since we began working with them as our 30th anniversary charity.

Mid-Cumberland Meals on Wheels is a non-profit organization that serves hot, fresh meals to seniors (60 and older) during the week, Monday-Friday. Volunteers use their own vehicles and gas to transport the meals to the homes of those in need. The seniors may have different reasons why they are unable to get out and get food for themselves, but health concerns are by far the biggest factor. I learned that nearly one in five seniors go hungry every day in our community, which came as a shock to me.  Besides providing meals, the program helps seniors become more self-sufficient, giving them knowledge and resources to improve their quality of life.

As volunteers, one of our goals is to provide a wellness check for the seniors when we bring their meals, since most have little or no family nearby to check on them.  In my experience, there’s an even bigger benefit to each visit.  Seeing a smiling, friendly face brings hope to many of the meal recipients, because they realize that someone really cares about their well-being.  In most cases, the volunteers become like family to them.

Our office chose Meals on Wheels as our 30x30x30 charity not only because there was a need for volunteers and monetary donations, but because serving others is what we’re good at!  This organization holds a special place in my heart now.  It feels great to see how happy these people are to receive something that I take for granted every day.  

Every time I volunteer, I get a chance to meet new people who are so thankful for their meal.  And while the food is obviously very important, I think they appreciate just as much the chance to interact and visit with someone who cares. Delivering meals has shown me that just a small amount of time can make a big difference.  I’m blessed to have seen for myself that just one smile, one hug, or one friendly hello can be all it takes to make someone’s day a lot brighter.

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