Lakewood Volunteers Deliver Meals to the Elderly by Barry Wemyss
Volunteerism is alive and well in the city of Lakewood. Of the multitudes who serve this community, few are more appreciated than the Home-Delivered-Meals volunteers working with the Lakewood Department of Human Services, Division of Aging. Coming from all walks of life, they are united in their desire to provide a hot meal and a friendly smile to Lakewood's vulnerable elderly. From the retired who are wanting to make productive use of their time, to the young moms who are wanting to teach volunteerism to their children, to the business people who are willing to take time out during their day, they are all working together to make a difference in the lives of our neighbors. Anna Ford, nutrition Supervisor for the Division of Aging states that she is proud to work alongside a team of such committed people. "These volunteers exemplify the community's willingness to care for each other."
On any given weekday, a team of fourteen to sixteen volunteers delivers 130 hot, nutritious lunches to homebound, frequently isolated seniors. For many, this will be the only hot meal, as well as the only face-to-face human contact they will have that day. Twelve-year volunteer, Ellen Mayer states that while receiving a meal every day is important to the people on her route, "For a lonely person, being able to share some friendly words with a familiar face is just as important." When asked if the commitment ever became burdensome, Ellen stated that on the contrary, "I have enjoyed every bit of it, and I've met many wonderful people."
The Division of Aging is always on the lookout for new Home-Delivered-Meals volunteers. Meal routes typically take an hour or less to complete. Volunteers can serve on a weekly, biweekly or monthly basis. Give it a try, you will not be sorry. For more information on this or other volunteer opportunities, please call the Volunteer Services Office at 216-529-5005, or check out the City of Lakewood website at www.onelakewood.com .