Helping Meals on Wheels Has Made All the Difference

Written by: April Allford Posted on: December 27, 2019 Tagged: meals on wheels hancock county volunteers April E. Allford Blog: Latest News

Christmas walk 2019

Although I'm extremely partial to the carefree, fun in the sun of summertime, the holidays are my favorite time of year. With so much sharing of love and kindness, these moments exchanged with family, friends and colleagues are ideal for taking time to appreciate and reflect. As I consider how 2019 has made an impact, I personally know that Meals on Wheels of Hancock County has helped me become a better version of myself.

I'm honored to have stepped into the growing role of PR & Marketing Coordinator this year. This new and exciting position has helped shape Meals on Wheels of Hancock County's expanding social media presence, and gives our organization a chance to show we can serve all facets of the community. One of our public relations initiatives is to let folks know our diet-specific, home-delivered meals can help people of all walks of life, at any stage of life.

Our healthy meals, made fresh on the daily at Hancock Regional Hospital, can help home-bound seniors who might not have access to transportation or may not be able to cook. Meals on Wheels of Hancock County can also help people coming out of rehab and hospital stays that make mobility difficult. Maybe a pregnant mom-to-be is on bed rest, and a fresh lunch and dinner at home will make life easier for her and healthier for baby. Perhaps surgeries require patients to stay off their feet or rest without the worry of how to prepare their next meals. There are many ways Meals on Wheels can make an impact.

My favorite part of my job is speaking with the people we serve, whether that's through a phone call into the office, a quick stop-in by a volunteer, or getting out there and delivering meals and helping with meal pick-up in the packing area at the hospital. I also meet many kind community members and representatives of other nonprofits at events, which I truly enjoy. This fall, Executive Director Lynda Kosh and I had the fun opportunity to join other Hancock County groups in helping ready a grocery store, owned by Brandywine Creek Farm owner Jonathan Lawler, in an eastside food desert. The community initiative will air in a future Facebook Watch web episode of "Returning The Favor," featuring former "Dirty Jobs" host Mike Rowe. Look for that to launch worldwide in early 2020.

Coming into this position, I knew I would relish the opportunity to help others. That's the cornerstone of any nonprofit position, and what inspires my work. For me, it's also seeing the joy and mindfulness that volunteering brings to people's lives. My friend Missy McCord immediately comes to mind as a caring and giving community member who, with the help of her young daughter, Lindsey, has incorporated Meals on Wheels deliveries into her weekly routine.

That has made all the difference.

"I have done it once a week this year, and I am absolutely in love with it. I love my route and I love my people! I know them by name and they know me by name!" she says. "I ask for volunteers from work to join me so they can experience the same gratitude as I do. If no one is available I take my daughter, Lindsey, who now knows all the thankful ones on my route. When she can’t go, she makes sure I tell them hello from her. When I see their bright smile from just hearing that makes my entire day!"

And that is what I'm talking about when I say working with Meals on Wheels has made all the difference for me, and others. Thanks a million to all our volunteers, including Missy and Lindsey, and everyone on our staff, board and hospital crew that make the Meals on Wheels magic happen every year. Our work is the definition of a group effort. Each and every task helps the wheels turn at Meals on Wheels. Keep up the good work.

Happy New Year!

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