Meals on Wheels Volunteer Gary Embodies ‘More Than a Meal’

By Published On: April 13th, 2016

Meals on Wheels volunteers deliver more than a meal: they deliver social connection to seniors and disabled adults. Often a volunteer may be the only person who the senior sees that day. Volunteers may just give a friendly smile along with a meal, but they can also be a lifeline to someone who is struggling. One volunteer who delivers more than a meal is Gary, who delivers meals twice a week for Meals on Wheels.

“I spent 40 years keeping customers happy as a retail store manager, so working with Meals on Wheels clients was a natural fit,” he explains. “When I retired, I wanted to find a purpose for how to spend my time. I was surprised by the social interaction – the people I deliver meals to become like friends.”

“All of our volunteers are special,” said Meg Bones, Program Manager for Meals on Wheels. “But Gary really embodies the ‘more than a meal’ spirit. Many of the people on his route live in poverty and he is sensitive that they may need things that the rest of us take for granted.”

One example of Gary responding to the specific needs of the people he delivers to is a client who we’ll call Tom.

“Tom lives in a trailer that’s in rough shape,” said Gary.  “He didn’t have a way to heat up his frozen weekend meals. I talked to the staff and we were able to get him a microwave.  That afforded him the ability to have meals on the weekends.  A little while later his space heater went out and we were able to get him a space heater as well.”

“Because of Gary’s close relationship with Tom, he was able to recognize that he had some problems that were affecting the quality of his life,” said Meg. “We were able to solve these problems very easily and now Tom is much more comfortable. This wouldn’t be possible without Gary.”

Thank you Gary! Your service to Meals on Wheels is an inspiration. Compassionate and caring volunteers like you make a difference in the lives of our vulnerable neighbors. Your service makes our community a better place.

If you or someone you know would like to volunteer with Meals on Wheels and make a difference in our community, please call 503-581-3855 or email .