Meals on Wheels of Northwest Indiana recently hosted a Share the Love event at their location in Merrillville where volunteers were encouraged to recruit a friend to sign up for volunteer work. The nonprofit is seeking volunteers who can deliver meals to clients, prepare fresh food for delivery or help with office work.
MOW Volunteer Manager Joan Vith expressed the continuous need for volunteers who make it possible for the organization to fulfill its mission of delivering nutritious meals to those in need.
“The purpose of Share the Love and other events is to recruit people interested in volunteering who were not previously affiliated with Meals on Wheels,” Vith said.
Hammond resident and ArcelorMittal retiree Robert Riesenman, who found out about the opportunity through his friend and MOW volunteer Karen Bonner, signed up for a delivery route at the event. He views volunteering as a way to keep busy and meet new people.
After riding along with Bonner on several delivery routes, Riesenman said he was impressed at the way the operation was organized and wanted to become more involved with MOW.
For Riesenman, the most rewarding part of the experience is seeing the look on people’s faces when their food arrives at the door. “It seems – for some – to be the high point of their day,” he said. “These are people who clearly need assistance, and I’m happy to be part of that.”
Along with bringing food, MOW volunteers routinely do brief wellness checks on the people they deliver to.
Though the organization has full-time drivers on staff, they rely on volunteers to help with the 42 delivery routes they cater to five days a week.
Delivery routes vary. Depending on the area, one volunteer may travel as little as five or as many as 25 miles in a day, while serving anywhere from eight to 20 people.
MOW will also participate in the seventh Annual Community Volunteer Fair at Crown Point High School on March 5 in hopes of recruiting more people to help meet the demands of their clients.
Founded in 1977, Meals on Wheels of Northwest Indiana is a non-profit serving Lake County, Indiana. Meals on Wheels delivers meals to those in need five days a week using community volunteers. Funding for meals is provided by individuals receiving meals, private foundations, grants and donations. More information about Meals on Wheels can be found at www.mownwi.org