Devereux California adults give back to community by volunteering with Meals on Wheels
“I have fun delivering food to all of the different people’s houses. I like making new friends.”
Adults, like Krystal, who participate in Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health California’s Day Program have an opportunity to build community connections by volunteering with the Santa Barbara Meals on Wheels.
Every Friday, Day Program participants deliver nourishing meals to people in the community.
“Our individuals love volunteering with Meals on Wheels – they understand that what they are doing is important,” said Devereux California Adult Day Program Manager Nellie Just. “During a typical week, four or five adults deliver lunches to people in the community. One of our adults, in particular, looks forward to helping out. He talks about Meals on Wheels all of the time. The experience is rewarding for our individuals, who learn the value of volunteering.”
Santa Barbara Meals on Wheels Board Co-President Sandy Nordahl noted, “Santa Barbara Meals on Wheels delivers affordable, freshly prepared meals 365 days a year to elderly and homebound residents in our community, providing both nutrition and personal interaction. For some of our clients, their Meals on Wheels delivery person is the only person they might see for days at a time, and this interaction is vital because our volunteers become the eyes and ears of family members who do not live nearby. Helping seniors and other homebound people feel connected and cared about is an important role our volunteers play. Because of Meals on Wheels, our 300-plus clients are able to live independently and with dignity.”
Building skills; forming friendships
Devereux California adults who volunteer with Meals on Wheels are building social skills, giving back to the community – and making new friends along the way. Look below to find out what a few of them say is their favorite part of the experience.
“Bringing food to our friends.”
“I like helping people eat, and I like making new friends.”
“Helping out the older ones. It’s a very good thing to do.”
Value in volunteering
Devereux California Direct Support Professional Michele La Grange, who takes the adults on their Meals on Wheels delivery route, says they are filled with a sense of pride and accomplishment.
“Our individuals are enthusiastic and eager to get out into the community,” La Grange explained. “Seeing the pure joy on their faces, and on the faces of the Meals on Wheels recipients, is priceless. Everyone loves the lively and sweet social interactions at each house. Volunteering makes our individuals feel good. Often, they tell me, ‘Our job is fun!’ And I feel exactly the same.”
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