My Morning with Meals on Wheels by Pattie Martin

A couple of months I got the opportunity to volunteer with an organization I've always admired. Meals on Wheels had what they call their "Big Wheels Day." It's where members of the community get the chance to ride along with the folks who deliver to the clients. It took us just about two hours, and the time went by faster than you could imagine.

In case you didn't know, Meals on Wheels delivers nutritious, hot meals five days a week to elderly and disabled shut-ins. It targets those who can't cook for themselves and are unable to go out for a meal. For many, this program is the difference between having a hot meal and simply getting something out of a can - if they're even able to do that. The meals aren't necessarily free. The cost is based on how much the client is able to afford.{}But it's not just about delivering food. It also provides a kind of safety net for those who are alone. If someone doesn't answer the door when the delivery person arrives or hasn't let them know they won't be home, the organization does a follow up to make sure they're ok.{}What I learned while on the ride is that for many of the clients, the visit from a Meals on Wheels delivery person is often times the only human contact they have during the day. Many of those who receive a meal live alone with little or no family nearby. I was told how grateful they are when the volunteer knocks on their door - not just for the food, but for the friendly face that's there. I saw that first hand. I can't tell you how appreciative they were to have someone say "hello" and ask how they were doing.{}The volunteers are amazing. It's all on their time, no pay and no money for gas. And with the cost of gas these days, that's not a small sacrifice.Meals on Wheels is always looking for volunteers or donations to keep their program going. If you are able to help out, my bet is that you would find it well worth your time.{}