More than four years ago I began volunteering with Meals on Wheels, a wonderful organization that provides weekday meals to those in need, after hearing through my church that volunteers were needed to drive meals to the elderly in our neighborhood. I am a busy working mother of three, Ashley (21), Ana (16) and Austin (6) and when I began volunteering my youngest was two. It was clear to me that I wanted to raise my son to be thoughtful and to serve others and thought this was a perfect vehicle to begin teaching him that life lesson, and Meals on Wheels supported this opportunity for a mom and a son.
Twice a month we would volunteer. At first it was challenging to learn the routine of picking up the food, where people lived and schlepping a two year old in and out of the car at every stop. In the end it became priceless. The warm smile my little boy put on their faces was contagious and our memories together endless.
A few of our fondest memories included one gentleman who had a toy robot and Austin wanted to play with him all day. Another gentleman was retired Navy, loved baseball and danced for him to jazz music. Although Austin was not fluent in Spanish, Mrs. Sivit always crooned sweet things to him. But the McDivits were our all time favorite! A couple married more than 60 years that you would want to adopt as your own grandparents. They knew it was important to wait and let Austin ring the door bell (an important job for a two year old!) and they would share their family memories of children, grand children and great grand children.
Now a first grader, Austin is unable to participate regularly but looks forward to joining me on school breaks. It continues to be an amazing experience.
— Jeaneen, Tyson’s Corner, 20 years