Meals on Wheels OC volunteer, Jim, has been delivering meals for over 20 years. The 22- year Air Force Veteran grew up with “service as a mindset” and makes driving his weekly route a priority. He said, “Driving for Meals on Wheels is a commitment I’ve made. The first thing I do each month is to mark ‘Meals on Wheels Delivery’ each Thursday in my day planner and then work everything else around it. Anything else that comes up has to wait.”
Jim arrives at the Westminster Senior Center each Thursday at 8:30am to load his vehicle with nutritious meals for seniors waiting eagerly for his delivery. Knowing that he may be the only person these people see all day, Jim is sure to make time for cheerful chit-chat outside each doorway. By 10:30am Jim has delivered meals and smiles to nine homes and knows he’s made a difference.
Jim has a great appreciation for the services Meals on Wheels OC provides. He wishes that his out-of-state parents had received Meals on Wheels as their health declined two decades ago. During this time, Jim juggled his job as a realtor while traveling monthly for three years from his Westminster home to Arizona to purchase groceries and help his aging parents continue to live independently. “They had no one else to help them,” Jim explained.
In 2002, shortly after the passing of his parents, Jim saw a televised appeal seeking Meals on Wheels volunteers in Westminster. Jim was immediately inspired to help. Now, 20 years later, Jim still finds great fulfillment in delivering nutrition to seniors in need. “It’s a way to give back and help people like my folks,” said the Vietnam Veteran. “Many of these people do not have family available to help and they need support.”
Check-ins are an added benefit of Meals on Wheels delivery and provide additional comfort to family members. “If someone doesn’t answer their door, I go around the outside of the house and knock on windows or doors,” Jim said. “If they don’t answer I call the point of contact [provided by Meals on Wheels OC].”
Jim’s commitment to Meals on Wheels OC stretches beyond his years of service. In 2019, when the OC Association of Realtors awarded Jim $500 for the distinction of being voted ‘Volunteer of the Year,’ Jim generously donated his award to Meals on Wheels OC.
Jim’s steadfast commitment comes from his heartfelt dedication to service. He said, “I appreciate each day and have a heart of gratitude. I enjoy doing this and will continue volunteering as long as my health is good.”