I have a friend who has decided to take 2015 and volunteer her way through the United States. Stopping in each state and making sure she volunteers in each one. She works jobs in the towns she is volunteering to help support her quest. She inspired me every day that I worked with her with her selflessness and generosity. It inspired me to do something with the time that I had off between shows. I had about three months and surely I could give back to the community once a week.
It took me a minute to figure out how I wanted to donate my time and then I remembered Meals on Wheels. I had delivered for Meals on Wheels when I lived in Pennsylvania, and I loved it, so I looked up my local chapter and signed up. Since the only places in Nashville I know how to get to are the places with the best coffee or the best breakfast sandwich, I figured I was going to need some help. I recruited Rob to be my directions guy and off into the summer heat we went.
Our first couple stops were in older urban housing developments that most people refer to as the “projects”. I have never been inside any “projects” anywhere, but once again, I followed the rule, acted like I belonged and delivered my first two meals without any problems. The next building, however, I was walking into the building, and someone was walking out of the building and I jumped out of my skin. Not because they were scary or shady, I just scare easily.
By the time we got to our third stop, that old feeling had come back to me; I just love volunteering for Meals on Wheels. Volunteering just makes you feel good. It makes your heart swell. The feeling you get from volunteering is so good you almost feel like you’re selfish. I love the smiles on the faces of the people who open the doors to get their meals. They all seem so thankful for the meals and some of these elderly people, the volunteers are the only faces they see all day not to mention perhaps it’s the only meal they eat that day.
This particular route had only eight meals to deliver and one stop counted for two meals, so we were done in an hour. In Pennsylvania, I had no less than 15 – 20 stops, and it took at least 4 hours. This morning I found myself wishing for a longer route. I felt like I could help more people, and I had the time. But I knew I was going to do this again next Monday, so I felt slightly better.
One hour is how much time it took me to volunteer today – one hour – but the feeling I get from volunteering always lasts long past that hour. We all have one hour a week to make a difference. The one hour that you give makes a huge difference in people’s lives, and I know you will find that it changes your own as well.