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Melissa LamkeWhen I think about my service to Meals on Wheels, I think about my grandparents. They lived well into their mid-90s and were supported, cherished and loved in their final years. Every time I deliver a meal, share a smile, make small talk, ask about a pet or comment about a person’s lovely home, I think of how fortunate I was to care for my grandparents and now I have the privilege to care for someone else’s grandmother or grandfather.

Meals on Wheels volunteers become surrogate family members who look after someone’s loved one when they cannot. This is why I choose to serve and impact my community—specifically during Week of Service—and I have done so for the last 11 years.

My local Meals on Wheels agency provides an easy service experience. They communicate well and treat their volunteers as valued team members. I serve as a substitute route delivery person– meaning I am notified when a regular volunteer isn’t available. They are very flexible with my schedule and I typically deliver two to three times a month.

Substitute route delivery volunteers are vital to my local agency and likely to most Meals on Wheels agencies across the country. If you choose to serve a Meals on Wheels agency, I promise they will welcome you in any capacity that fits in your schedule.

A day in the life of volunteering at Meals on Wheels usually takes one to two hours depending on the number of clients on the route. You use two insulated bags to pick up and transport the hot and cold portions of the meal and are giving a route sheet at the pick-up sit that is in a geographical order. It’s so simple! Sometimes I take a co-worker, my mom or a volunteer in training with me. I love introducing new people to the fulfilling service experience of Meals on Wheels.

“It’s more than a meal” is a popular sentiment associated with Meals on Wheels that shows the client gets more than food with the services Meals on Wheels agencies provide. As a volunteer, my service experience fills my heart with gratitude that I can, in my small way, support someone’s loved one when they can’t. This is why IT’S MORE THAN A MEAL to me.

Written by guest blogger Melissa Lamke, Epsilon Nu–University of Central Oklahoma, Philanthropy Committee Chairman for the Fraternity’s Volunteer Service Team.

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