I did not know what to expect when my sister, mom and I went to an interview to become Meals on Wheels volunteers this summer. The people from the Meals on Wheels program were very nice and gave us a tour of the building, instructions about the program and where to pick up meals to deliver. For the last two months, I helped my dad, mom and sister deliver meals each Tuesday at 10:30 AM. I have learned 4 lessons from my experience:
- The first lesson is to follow instructions!!! Sometimes there are specific instructions to follow like “Knock Hard" or “Door Unlocked” next to certain addresses. When I rang the doorbell on one address that said to “Knock Hard,” the woman who lived there had to raise her voice to us to knock and I felt badly that I forgot to read the instructions.
- The second lesson I learned is to count ALL the items before we start the route. One particular day, I counted everything except the bread/fruit (we were missing one). Thankfully things worked out because one person was not at home so we were able to give the extra meal that was missing a bread/fruit to someone else.
- The third lesson I learned is that seniors love visits from young children. I received so much advice like, “Stay in school” and “Listen to your parents.” They seemed to enjoy giving me advice like this and my parents LOVED to hear them share them with me!
- The last lesson I learned is we are responsible for each other. Pay attention. One Meals on Wheels rule is that if someone is not home, we MUST call the hotline to let someone know. There are people in charge who check on seniors when they are not home because their life could be in danger. This program is not only a Meals on Wheels, but an organization that cares and looks out for the well-being of the elderly.
My summer volunteering with the Meals on Wheels program has been one I will remember and I plan to volunteer again because I met so many friendly people. So I call my experience at Meals on Wheels this summer a “ 2 for 1 deal”....they needed volunteers and I needed them for the lessons that will help me in life!
By Samuel Davis, Kid Advisory Board Member