Meals on Wheels | Teen Ink

Meals on Wheels

May 14, 2012
By Wendybeth Hamm BRONZE, Lawrence Ks, Kansas
Wendybeth Hamm BRONZE, Lawrence Ks, Kansas
2 articles 0 photos 0 comments

I believe in the power of Meals on Wheels

A meal is more than a savory treat to some, a meal is company; a meal is someone that cares.

When I was little, I would help my grandma who volunteered for Meals on Wheels. This is an organization that delivers food to people that were unable to make their own. I saw it as a fun day riding around with my grandma, I did not know the grand scheme of things until I got older.

My mom, inspired by my grandma. has been delivering meals for three years now. She would always try to get me to go with her, but I thought I had more important things to do like hang with friends or go to the pool.

It wasn’t until she had to cover another volunteer’s shift that I ever got involved. I was forced to do it because she really needed my help.
When we delivered the dietary food from the hospital, the people were overjoyed, not just because they got a hot and ready meal, but more because they had someone visiting them. I saw the sparkle in their eyes every time a client looked at me. They soon became so much more than clients; they became people I truly cared about, and that’s when I knew this wasn’t just about the meals anymore.

My mom maintains a certain route each week. She delivers meals to the same people every week. Dorothy a former teacher, can talk for hours telling us her teaching experiences. She told us about one of her students who called her by her first name once that really made her mad. It turned out she saw him years later and teased him about it. Dorothy told us all of this while her food began to get cold, but she did not care. She was just glad to share her life with us.

Another lady down the street has a disabled son who needs lots of tending to, so sometimes cooking for two is challenging. That’s where the meals and the volunteer’s empathy come in handy. The only problem with that is the organization only provides one tray of food which isn’t always enough. So every time my mom brings her food, she goes go out and gets a meal for her son, too. It’s the little things that mean the most. My mom delivers meals to war vets, school teachers, and people who just needed a little helping hand.

I really saw the true meaning of delivering meals and why my mom loved to do it when she had a client who didn’t even have a couch. We had old couches that we never used, so my mom brought her a couch. The lady cried and was so happy. Seeing that just a basic household thing could make someone so happy made me realize that this volunteer work is not just something to fill an empty stomach. It is long talks about the past, providing basic needs, sharing a smile with someone and letting people know that they are cared for. I believe in the power of Meals on Wheels and its volunteers because we all need a friend to share a meal with now and then.

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