In the summer of 2011, my friend Kelly and I joined Meals on Wheels as a community service project for our children. On my first delivery route, one of the clients handed me a card to thank me for delivering meals and shared with me that Meals on Wheels workers were often the only conversation she had each day. We have been servicing the route every since!
Every Friday, we deliver up to 25 meals to an independent living apartment complex in Rockwall for seniors. We have learned about their interesting past lives, families and health challenges. All of our clients happen to be single women so we even help them out if they need some simple tasks done around the house. Our kids still join us during the summer and on holidays.
My favorite memory to date was when all seven of our children (Kelly is the brave soul with five kids and I have two) joined us and we sang church hymns with one of the residents. She was so excited.
In addition to my work with Meals on Wheels, I volunteer at Minnie’s Food Pantry in Plano through the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, Chi Zeta Omega Chapter where I am First Vice President. We usually provide food and services for over 300 families once a month. Our largest day is coming up on November 22 where we will provide Thanksgiving boxes to over a 1,000 families. It is amazing to be a part of something this special. If you and your family are interested in joining us on the 22nd, contact me and I will provide you with the details.
During this holiday season, there are many opportunities to work at food pantries or serve meals. The volunteer procedure varies for each organization and are usually listed on their websites. Here are a few opportunities:
Meals on Wheels – The Meals On Wheels Association of America is the oldest and largest membership organization supporting the national network of more than 5,000 Senior Nutrition Programs that operate in all 50 states and U.S. territories. The tireless work of these programs – supported by a dedicated army of 2 million volunteers – delivers a nutritious meal, a warm smile and a safety check that helps keep 2.5 million seniors healthy, safe and living independently in their own homes each year.
Minnie’s Food Pantry – Minnie’s Food Pantry is a 501 C3 charity in Collin County, Texas. They provide healthy, nutritious food and red carpet treatment to every person they serve in the community.
Allen Food Pantry – The Allen Food Pantry is supported by the Allen Ministerial Alliance which is made up of Christian churches in the communities of Allen, Fairview and Lucas, Texas and operates as a strict non-profit organization that is 100% Volunteer based.
A Christian Food Pantry – A Christian Food Pantry & Thrift Store was opened in April 2011 to serve food-insecure people in Collin County. They are open 4 days a week and only serve Collin County families. By partnering with North Texas Food Bank, their food costs are 5 cents per meal. A $20 donation provides 400 meals, a $100 donation 2000 meals. They are not part of any church or organization, so they rely solely upon monetary donations and income from the thrift store to pay rent and other expenses.
Bridge Outreach – Now operating every Saturday, volunteers set up 250 chairs, food serving tables, a music system, and in the atmosphere of praise and worship the gospel is preached. Through the love of God, a full hot meal, clothing, hygiene products and bags of food are dispersed. Each month 1000+ hot meals are served, 600 hygiene bags are given out, and nearly 1000 items of clothing are given out.
So sign up for something! It is chicken soup for the soul!