Mobile Meals in need of volunteersWritten by Morgan Delp | | email@example.com
Mobile Meals of Toledo, which provides daily sustenance to 600 people in the Toledo area, is in urgent need of volunteers. About 500 people serve clients who are unable to provide meals for themselves due to medical problems, but with 40 daily routes that are constantly changing, the need for volunteers is extremely high.
“It’s kind of an ebb and flow,” said Associate Executive Director Carolyn Fox. “A lot of our volunteer base are retirees, so several are on medical leave or golf during the day in the summer. Also, another big age group is the 50s, who are now starting to care for their own parents.”
Volunteers are needed to meet the constant demand for Mobile Meals, a nonprofit organization founded in 1967. It “is designed to enable the elderly, ill, disabled, homebound, the convalescing and all those who need assistance with diet and meal preparation to remain in their own homes and retain the dignity and independence they treasure,” according to mobilemeals.org.
From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., people ranging from high school students to elderly adults travel to one of six area pickup sites and deliver around 10-14 meals near their home or workplace.
Retiree Vicki Melms and her husband Rick deliver at least one route a week, sometimes two or three. Since 2009, the couple has made it their mission to help.
“I used to work at MCO’s Center for Successful Aging and got to know a lot of the senior resources that we had in the city and I really liked Mobile Meals,” Vicki said. “When I retired, I took one month off and then started volunteering. I enjoy going and meeting people and knowing that I am doing something for them. We’re healthy and can get around and we just think about the people that can’t.”
Patty Dabrowski of the Hylant Group has volunteered with a coworker for about eight years. She, with many other employees around the Toledo area, participate in Corporate Cares, an initiative of Mobile Meals that encourages people to volunteer during their lunch break.
“We pick up meals from Mercy Healthcare Center, which is right down the street from our office in Downtown,” Dabrowski said. “We go deliver our route then stop and get a bite to eat, and we’re usually back to work within an hour and a half.”
Dabrowski noticed that one client’s freezer was full of meals she never ate, and she only continued to pay for meals for the companionship of a volunteer, even if for a short time each day. In the case of some clients, the volunteer is the only person they will see that day.
In a letter to Fox, one grateful client, Marleen, said, “I worked at Wal-Mart as a people greeter for 19 years until I fell and broke my hip. … Now I’m on dialysis and living independently again because of Mobile Meal’s delicious renal diet. I can’t do it without all of them so I want them to know how much I appreciate the work they do.”
Mobile Meals encourages anyone who is interested in volunteering to call (419) 255-7806, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or check out their website: www.mobilemeals.org.