The volunteer servers from the Meals on Wheels volunteer dinner take a break from preparing plates during the dinner on Thursday at Bethlehem Christian Church.
The volunteer servers from the Meals on Wheels volunteer dinner take a break from preparing plates during the dinner on Thursday at Bethlehem Christian Church.

Meals on Wheels volunteers honored

Published 10:57pm Friday, September 6, 2013

More than 170 Meals on Wheels volunteers were honored Thursday evening at Bethlehem Christian Church during the organization’s annual volunteer dinner.

Service pins were given for people who had racked up five, 10, 15 or even 20 years of service. Others have been serving even longer than that — some since the organization began in 1987 — but none of them were at a mark divisible by five.

“It’s the largest we’ve ever had,” Executive Director Roseland Worrell said of the turnout.

Board Member Dee Steinert thanked the volunteers for the hard work they do to deliver meals — and so much more.

“That smile, that kind word you deliver with that meal means so much,” she said.

Each of the organization’s recipients receives two meals delivered to his or her home five days a week. It is supported only by fundraising, grants and volunteer services, as well as modest recipient fees. Volunteers deliver to Suffolk and Isle of Wight County.

The service isn’t just for elderly residents — people who are disabled can receive it too, Worrell said. The 141 current recipients are ages 41 to 93. Some doctors even write prescriptions for patients to receive Meals on Wheels.

“It’s the little things you don’t even think about that you’ve done that makes people’s day,” Worrell said.

John Monroe, who has been volunteering about 16 years, said he volunteers because others helped him when he went through hard times.

“I felt I needed to do something for them that they had done for me,” he said.

New volunteer Patricia Simms found volunteering in the Meals on Wheels office has matched her passions.

“I have a passion for senior citizens,” the military wife said. “I was trying to figure out something I could do as opposed to being at home. I enjoy it because I really like helping people.”

Many local churches and businesses have teams of volunteers who split shifts. Volunteer Molly Crow, of the West End Baptist Church team, has been volunteering for about three years.

“You get so much more out of it than you put into it,” Crow said. “It just amazes me there are so many people that need this service.”

All the volunteers had dinner prepared and served by the Holland Ruritan Club.

“This is our way of nonprofits helping nonprofits,” Worrell said.

For more information on the organization, call 934-4911 or visit www.suffolkmealsonwheels.com.

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