By Meghan Ostrander, Lindsey Smilack, and Nathan Lamb
For many of us, Thanksgiving is a wonderful day to relax and spend time with our families. On behalf of Somerville-Cambridge Elder Services (SCES), we are thanking all the volunteers who turned out Thanksgiving morning, so that our regular Meals on Wheels drivers could have the day off.
We had 66 volunteers converge at the agency Thanksgiving morning for some quick refreshments and a driver’s meeting, before they set out to make deliveries.
It was a great group, with a lot of enthusiasm, and we so appreciated them taking some time out of their holiday morning to help others.
Meals on Wheels has some very meaningful impacts on the lives of those we serve. In a survey of local Meals on Wheels recipients earlier this year, 90% said the meals help them live independently. The program also helps with isolation: some 50% of survey respondents said they live alone, with no one to check on them but their drivers. By helping on Thanksgiving morning, our drivers were absolutely delivering more than just warm and nutritious food.
The Thanksgiving deliveries are a wonderful tradition, but this is probably a good time to note that our roughly 400 volunteers make a difference in our community year-round. SCES volunteer programs offer a wide range of ways to contribute—bagging food donations, money management assistance, and helping with medical appointments are just a few examples of how volunteers can get involved.
We have had great support for volunteer programs over the years, but more help is always welcome. Please feel to get in touch if you think you might like to get involved in 2020.
Meghan Ostrander is the Nutrition Director for Somerville-Cambridge Elder Services (SCES). Lindsey Smilack is the Volunteer Coordinator for SCES. For more information about SCES volunteer programs, visit the volunteer page at eldercare.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Nathan Lamb is Director of Outreach and Community Relations at SCES.