Meals On Wheels

Have you been thinking about community service and volunteerism as a family project? Have you run into frustrating stumbling blocks? Consider Meals On Wheels - you and the kids deliver nutritious hot meals to homebound clients who look forward to your visit and their hot lunch. In our area, Meals on Wheels can give you the option of committing to a regular route, or serving as a substitute for last minute cancellations. A regular route means one day a week for 1 1/2 - 2 hours. Being a substitute would require less time but more flexibility in your schedule.

The nice things about Meals On Wheels include:

1. The dedicated, caring staff is well organized, friendly, and efficient. Here in Charlottesville, we go to the kitchen at Kluge Children’s Rehab Center and receive one "hot" bag and one "cold" bag. They give us clear instructions about any changes in our regular route. The clients’ birthdays are acknowledged with a card, and holidays include fancy napkin decorations or other items to make special days fun. The Meals on Wheels staff make it easy and delightful to do community service that directly helps other people.

2. The program is not federally funded, but is financed by donations and fund raisers. And we have never been asked to do any kind of solicitation!

3. Kids can be gently exposed to a range of human experience that they may not have contacted before, including physical handicaps, poverty, aging, and mental imbalances. They can also learn about the need within a community for people to help each other. One of my kids was uncomfortable at first with our blind client, but now he wants to do that delivery all on his own. We all grew particularly fond of another elderly woman. She no longer receives services now, and yet we still visit her. We have developed a continuing friendship, from which both sides benefit. The Meals On Wheels program clearly allows you to determine your level of involvement with clients.

4. It feels good.

Meals on Wheels is available in most communities. Our experience in the Charlottesville area may be different from what you may find in your part of the state. For example, in some of the larger cities the program does receive federal funding. Check your local phone book for your local program.

Mary Wilson...

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