Written by Ann, Keystone volunteer and supporter:
We’ve been involved with Keystone’s Meals on Wheels program on and off for 40 years. When we first moved to St. Paul, Pat was working nights, I wasn’t teaching, and we had a 1-year old and a 4-year old. We were looking for a way to get to know our new community that could involve the kids. When we saw a notice that MOW deliverers were needed, we volunteered. It was perfect for our family and we saw how much it meant to the seniors we delivered meals to.
From those early days when we delivered with our young kids, our careers and lives evolved, but every summer when I had a break from teaching, our younger son and I continued volunteering delivering Meals on Wheels every summer until he was in high school. When we retired, Pat and I started delivering meals with Keystone again. We volunteered weekly and only paused when the pandemic hit.
During the pandemic, we were delighted that volunteers who felt they couldn’t deliver meals were invited to call Keystone Meals on Wheels recipients. We’ve been calling pretty much weekly. The woman I call was delighted from the start to have someone call and check on her, but most of all, just to chat. Even though we’ve never met in person, we’ve become quite good friends.
We have always felt that MOW was an important program. The longer that we are involved with it, the more we see how much it is needed, and how much it brings to those who participate in the program. It is more than a nutritious lunch — it is a bright spot in their day, seeing a familiar face bringing the meals and having a conversation. I love seeing the smiles on the faces of the recipients when they open their doors and realize it is their friendly Meals on Wheels volunteer bringing their meal.