Meals on Wheels volunteers find joy in helping seniors

Meals on Wheels volunteers find joy in helping seniors

Some of them simply don't have the money to buy food to eat. Some are too frail to prepare a meal for themselves.

These are the hundreds of seniors who rely on the Council on Aging's Meals on Wheels, and the kind angels who deliver them.

They are the young military members with a heart for service to country and community. They are fellow seniors who have empathy for their peers.

From various walks of life, they make the journey for those who can't, delivering what may be the only meal some will have that day.

"They deliver frozen food to our clients that are homebound," explained Linda Barnard with Council on Aging Community Service. "This really does help them tremendously. You know, where they can just put a microwave dinner in and have food."

"We were looking for a way to stay active and to give something back to the community that's been so good to us," said Meals on Wheels volunteer Stanley Walker.

"We know that there are people in the community that cannot get out for themselves and because we have the opportunity, the vehicles, and the time to do it, we wanted to spend that time giving back," said another volunteer, Paulette Walker.

When they retired several years ago, Paulette and Stanley Walker joined the small army of Meals On Wheels volunteers. In the past year, these angels served 422 homebound seniors and delivered 123,737 meals.

It only takes a few hours, one day a week. That time proves to be valuable in many ways because what they bring to these homes is so much more than food.

"We might be the only person that they see for the day and so it's nice to know that you might have just a few minutes to say, 'Hello. How are you doing?' And they really appreciate that; they look forward to us coming," Paulette said.

"We've had several people pass away. That's the sad part, but the good part about it is no matter what people have, they always leave you with, 'Thank you very much and may God bless you.' And it just calls to mind how much God has blessed us in our lives," Stanley said.

The Walkers would love for more people to share that feeling. There are more than 500 seniors on the waiting list for Meal On Wheels. The more volunteers, the more seniors who can be fed.

"It's knowing that I am giving of myself to help someone else and that's the greatest gift that we all can give; is to serve another person," Stanley said.

Angels In Our Midst is sponsored by Nemours Children's Specialty Care.

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