Help Me Help Meals on WheelsPosted: July 1, 2015
If my math is correct I have worked at Durham Magazine for the last six years, every issue since number two. When I use the word work you need not think of someone who punches the clock forty hours a week. My job as the Community and Events editor, as my title is written in the mast head, is far from a real job, but more of a passion for highlighting people and non-profit agency’s that are doing good works in Durham. My monthly two-page column is hardly enough to begin to cover all the generous people who are giving their time to make our city a better place.
Although I hardly ever write about my work at the magazine in my blog because I don’t want to preempt myself I want to break that rule this time. Yesterday I went to Meals on Wheels of Durham to do a story on two wonderful women who deliver food once a week. I will let their story stand on its own when it is published in next months Durham Magazine but I would like to highlight a great need in the community that I am hoping some of you Durham Less Dana readers might be able to help with.
Meals on Wheels currently serves 340 elderly people who are home-bound a hot meal five days a week. It takes over 200 volunteer drivers to bring them their food and newspaper everyday. For a long time there has been a waiting list of over 200 people who qualify for help from Meals on Wheels, but the funding has not been available to feed them. Recently that funding has been found and in the next month they are going to be added to the client list of MOW and begin receiving the food they need to enable them to remain independent seniors living in their own homes.
This funding is great news, but it means that MOW needs to add about 50 more volunteer drivers. MOW makes it very easy to volunteer. You can do it one day a month, every other week, once a week or more. It starts at 10-10:30 in the morning. You drive your own car to pick up the ready made food that is packaged and put into to cooler or heat thermal bags on wheels. You are given a route of about 11 clients to deliver your meals to. You check in on the client, since often you might be the only person they see in person all day. The whole operation takes about an hour and a half. You can do it alone, or in pairs. If you have a group, like a department at work, or a club, you can take a route together and share the responsibility. It is an easy way to help take care of those in our community who need it the most.
I am interested in getting a group together to volunteer. Depending on how many we can get in our group will determine how often we will volunteer. The good thing about doing it in a group is you have backup. If you are really interested in doing this you can volunteer directly and get your own route, or one with a friend. If I get a lot of people who are interested we might have two groups. I just want to encourage you to help Meals on Wheels out at this critical time in their growth.
I went out with two women yesterday as they made their deliveries and it was easy, fun and very rewarding. They also followed their deliveries up with going out to lunch themselves after they were done. I know I can afford an hour and a half a couple times a month. What about you?
To learn more visit Meals on Wheels of Durham at mowdurham.org