Delivering More than a Meal: Wilder Volunteers for Meals on Wheels Give Back
Rose Sherman has been volunteering with the Wilder Community Services for Aging Meals on Wheels program for more than 30 years. “When I started, I remember wanting a simple and quick way each month to give back to the community and to serve,” explains Rose.
“This became even more important to me when my own mother needed home-delivered meals and I realized how people who cannot leave their homes needed not only good nourishment, but also somebody to look in on them, someone to smile at them.”
Rose is an employee of the Minnesota Historical Society (MHS), an organization that has been generous with its employee volunteer time. Working through Wilder’s program, the volunteers serve older and disabled adults in the Midway and Frogtown neighborhoods of Saint Paul, delivering meals to those who can’t get out and who might otherwise have to go without a hot meal.
“We often have volunteers thank us for the opportunity to serve and say that they get back more than they put in,” says Austine Vaughn, Manager of Volunteer Services for Wilder. “Volunteers are the heart of this program, which wouldn’t exist without them.”
A Small Commitment with Big Impact
A little time adds up quickly. Last year, volunteers for Wilder's Meals on Wheels program delivered more than 22,800 meals.
“Volunteering with Meals on Wheels is a great way to make a difference with just a few hours a week,” explains Vaughn. “Wilder has been providing hot meals and warm smiles to community residents since 1978.”
MHS has an employee group of about 20 volunteers participating in Meals on Wheels with Wilder. “Because the program is so well organized, it really is very easy for volunteers to give back in a meaningful way,” explains Charles Rogers, an MHS employee and Meals on Wheels volunteer. “There is a real need for this service and you can really tell that the clients are so grateful to be receiving a hot meal.”
Rose Sherman says she looks forward to continuing her role as a volunteer.
“What keeps me coming back is the gratitude I receive and the relationships that I’ve made. My mother is passed on now, and I am just so grateful for the opportunity to help someone the way others helped my mother when she needed it. It’s a good feeling I can be there for someone else’s mother, someone’s grandmother. It’s important.”