Doing nothing for others is the undoing of ourselves.
Volunteering to help others changes us. It shapes us and it grows us. Because we all know, if we happen to be in a position to serve with our time and our resources this week, perhaps next week we will be in a position to need that same service returned.
We’ll be highlighting the many opportunities here in the Upstate – and especially here in Travelers Rest – where services and volunteers are most needed.
This week – let’s focus on Meals on Wheels.
Meals on Wheels of Greenville delivers food to 140 routes across Greenville County. With anywhere from 10-15 homebound clients on each route, they require 140 volunteers a day to deliver meals and volunteer check-ins. Delivering to one route typically takes one hour. That means that this is a volunteer program you could actually accomplish on your lunch break!
Paxton Kelly is the Marketing & Communications Coordinator with Meals on Wheels. “I had volunteered with Meals on Wheels of Greenville prior to joining the team, so I was already familiar with what all they do for our community, as well as how wonderful the people who are a part of it are—everyone from staff to volunteers,” Kelly shared. “I was thrilled when this position opened up and I’m so happy to be a part of this team!”
Here’s how volunteering with Meals on Wheels works:
Attend an orientation. Sign up for a virtual volunteer orientation. Orientations are held every Thursday at 9:30 a.m. via Zoom.
Choose your delivery schedule. This depends on YOU. You can choose to deliver meals daily, weekly, monthly or occasionally. The volunteer team at Meals on Wheels will work with you to find a route that fits best. There’s a meal drop site right in TR – First Baptist Church – where you can pick up your meals to deliver if that suits better than visiting their office location.
Find out all the details right here – https://mealsonwheelsgreenville.org/volunteer/
Kelly says that her volunteers share frequently about how rewarding it is to serve and to meet the clients that receive their meals. “It’s such a good feeling when you leave a client’s home—after having a wonderful interaction with them—and you realize that just as much as you are the reason for the smile on their face, they are the reason for the one on yours,” she shared.
Amanda Wood and her family have served as volunteers for Meals on Wheels. It was an activity that the entire family joined in on. “We chose to volunteer with MOW because it was a way that our entire family could serve together,” Amanda shared. “We loved that it was a tangible way that we could participate in caring for others. Our kids could visually see us picking up meals, dropping off meals and having real meaningful conversations with people who longed to have interaction. It was a gift for all of us.”
Amanda said that over time they developed friendships and valuable connections with several of their families. “There was one family that we really connected with and we would take them extra goodies and visit them even when we weren’t delivering meals,” Amanda said. “We would find ourselves over at their house, working in their yard or munching on some baked goodies from their kitchen. They were such a treasure during the covid season.”
That’s the beautiful part about serving and volunteering and caring for one another in our community – you realize that we are more alike than we are different and that our basic needs are so similar – food, care and kindness.
Meals on Wheels provides a unique and beautiful way for that connection to happen.
Get in touch with Paxton Kelly and her Meals on Wheels team to find out more!