Volunteering for Meals on Wheels has been a tradition in my family for over 40 years.
My mother set the example by packing the hot meals in a kitchen at the small Catholic school that my brothers and I attended in Oklahoma. I continued the tradition by finding the Meals on Wheels program in each town when I relocated and helping in whatever role was available.
It was an opportunity to both serve my community and to find a place for myself within that community. Because you see, Meals on Wheels is all about people and relationships. It’s about the seniors and disabled who need some assistance to age in place in their own homes. It’s about the families who live too far away to bring lunch by often enough. It’s about the volunteers who want to lend a hand and who have a sincere interest in the well-being of their neighbors. It’s about the staff in the office who serve as a bridge, facilitating independent living and reassuring distant relatives that someone is keeping a watchful eye on their loved ones.
Friendships are fostered among clients and volunteers, stories are traded, lessons are taught. My children delivered with me every summer and learned how to shake hands and look a person in the eye because Mr. Farrington on Route 4 showed them how. Every interaction is a chance for enrichment and growth for both the client and volunteer.
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On May 23, Chapel Hill Carrboro Meals on Wheels will be celebrating 41 years of serving the elderly and homebound in Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Southern Orange County at the fifth annual Dining for Dollars, CHCMOW’s signature fundraising event. Enjoy a fun evening with donors, volunteers and community members while raising much needed funds to support the delivery of hot, nutritious meals and a friendly check-in every Monday-Friday, enabling senior, homebound, and disabled individuals the opportunity to age in place with dignity.
To learn more about how to get involved as a volunteer or supporter, please visit www.chcmow.org or call 919-942-2948. Together we can deliver!
Stacey Yusko is a volunteer for Chapel Hill Carrboro Meals on Wheels.