Meals volunteers honored

Published 9:41 pm Thursday, September 17, 2009

Suffolk Meals on Wheels volunteers agree on one thing — it’s not the meals they bring, but the smiles and hugs they get, that are the best part of the job.

“My thanks is seeing their eyes and their spirits and their soul raised up,” Tim Mounie, a Suffolk Meals on Wheels volunteer and leader, said.

The local Meals on Wheels chapter, which covers Suffolk and Isle of Wight County, gathered at Bethlehem Christian Church Thursday to reward its volunteers for their service.

“Giving nutrition to these people just makes you feel good,” Roseland Worrell, the interim director of the chapter, said. “Some of these people can go all day long and not see anybody.”

The volunteer of the year award was to have been announced Thursday, but the executive director has been ill and was unable to pick the winner. The five volunteers of the quarter — two volunteers tied one quarter — were recognized, but will have to wait to see which received the volunteer of the year award.

“I’ve always enjoyed doing for other people,” Helene Winslow, one volunteer of the quarter, said. “It’s just a good thing to do.”

In addition to recognizing volunteers of the quarter, the volunteers who had reached one, five, 10 and 15 years of service received pins.

Another volunteer of the quarter, Emogene Babb, originally began volunteering when her father was receiving Meals on Wheels.

“It’s very rewarding,” she said. “It’s a joy to go and see the people and see if you can help them.”

Doug Edwards, a 10-year volunteer and volunteer of the quarter, said he volunteers because he likes helping people.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed it,” he said.

Volunteer of the quarter Toni Taylor has been doing Meals on Wheels for about 12 years. Her daughter Dianna Taylor, 14, received a special award Thursday night for being the youngest volunteer in the organization.

“I just feel it’s important,” Toni Taylor said. “If you don’t do it, who else is going to do it?”

June Stiltner also was a volunteer of the quarter.

“I really love (the people),” Stiltner said. “They are good people.”

Suffolk Mayor Linda T. Johnson also delivered remarks at the dinner ceremony, saying the volunteers’ service is “really not about the meal.”

“You’re not only bringing nutrition, you’re nourishing the souls of people that really, really need it,” Johnson said. “On behalf of the city, I’m just here to say thank you.”

Suffolk Meals on Wheels delivers about 200 meals per day to people who are elderly, homebound, disabled or otherwise unable to prepare meals to meet their nutritional needs.

Each recipient, most of whom pay a weekly fee for the service, receives lunch and dinner Monday through Friday. Meals are prepared by the Obici Hospital food service department and are delivered by the hundreds of volunteers.

For more information about Meals on Wheels, call 934-4911.