This month’s volunteer(s) of the month award goes out to all of the dedicated volunteers from PacificSource. PacificSource employees have been volunteering for Meals on Wheels for about 20 years now! We sat down with them to have a quick chat about their work.
Q: Why do employees continue to volunteer for the Council on Aging’s MOW program?
A: It’s part of our culture. We have a long-standing commitment to serving the communities where we do business. We live and work in these communities, and it’s a big part of our mission to give back where we can. Meals on Wheels is a vital lifeline to the health of our community, and we recognize that value and want to take part in seeing it remain successful.
Q: How does PacificSource support volunteering?
A: First of all, we try to remove any barriers to ensure the MOW route is covered by offering volunteers PacificSource company cars to use for deliveries. We’re also paid for eight hours a year to volunteer for any organization.
Q: Is it hard to cover for employees who are out of the office volunteering?
A: There are days when workloads are high, and the task seems inconvenient, but we’re always so glad we took time out to share in this service. It recharges our batteries and makes us feel like we made a difference.
Q: What’s the most important thing MOW volunteers can do for our seniors?
A: Check-in! It’s more than just delivering a meal; it about looking out for them. It’s about putting eyes on the person and asking how the person is doing. For example, on very cold days, we ask, “Are you staying warm? Do you need anything?” And on hot days, “Are you staying cool? Do you need anything?”
“One of the things that struck me was the first time I drove after the pandemic hit was how good it felt to see the residents and just to say hello to all of them. Even with 6-10 feet of separation, it felt so good for the soul to give back and simply interact with other folks. Definitely a feeling that has stuck with me.”– PacificSource MOW driver
Q: Do PacificSource volunteers sense that the people they serve appreciate what they do?
A: Yes, the people are always so thankful. Even the dogs seem excited when we arrive, and we have to make sure they don’t bolt out the door when handing over the meal. Even for a few minutes, those that seem open to chatting are meaningful for us, and we like to think the contact makes their day brighter too.
“I know this pandemic has been very difficult for a lot of people, and I’m so glad the MOW has continued to work through this and remained strong. This last year, I brought my kids along one day, and it was great for them to experience what MOW is about and how they help the community.”– PacificSource MOW driver
Q: How does volunteering for Meals on Wheels make you feel?
A: MOW is a very fulfilling experience and a tremendous community effort. We all benefit from the human connection.
Q: What would you say to someone that is considering volunteering for Meals on Wheels?
A: Well, we all thoroughly enjoy this opportunity to serve our community members in this way. So you better get your own route because you can’t have ours!