Volunteering for a nonprofit organization is one of the most rewarding experiences a person can have.
In fact, over 63 million Americans volunteer their time to make a real difference. These volunteers offer time, expertise, talent, and labor to various causes to make our world a better place.
Meals on Wheels of Contra Costa and our partners rely on our volunteers daily to keep our operations working and keep our senior clients fed. Helping the elderly is something that all our volunteers take pride in, and it’s the reason all of us do what we do.
What does it really mean to be a Meals on Wheels volunteer, though? What exactly do the volunteers helping the elderly in Contra Costa county actually do? And what volunteer opportunities near me might be available?
What it Means to Volunteer for Seniors in Contra Costa
Senior populations in Contra Costa always need help. They need clothing, nutritious foods, mental stimulation, wellness, fitness, and much more. Specifically, our elderly clients need assistance with meals delivered, their health checked in, and their day brightened.
Luckily, Meals on Wheels of Contra Costa and our partners are here to provide many of these actions for our senior clients! Our volunteers can provide meal delivery, wellness checks, and social interaction specifically to our senior population.
These are actions mean more to our clients and the Meals on Wheels staff than just delivering a meal or checking up on someone.
Our volunteers are offering hope, kindness, and independence to our seniors. Hope and compassion often seem in short supply, especially towards the elderly. But any time our senior clients interact with our volunteers, they meet individuals who genuinely care about them. Being kind and bringing just a little bit of hope also costs nothing but means the world to our elderly clients.
Delivering Nutrition, One Meal at a Time
Even here in the United States, food insecurity is a significant problem.
Many seniors who live in more rural or isolated communities don’t often have access to proper nutrition, relying on gas station food or cheap, frozen meals. Gas station food doesn’t offer a balanced meal at all, and many affordable frozen meals contain high sodium levels. Healthy meals can be hard to come by, which is why meal programs like Meals on Wheels focus on providing necessary nutrition.
Our healthy meals wouldn’t get to seniors without our delivery drivers.
These generous men and women make a daily, weekly, and monthly difference in our senior clients’ lives. This direct impact is also measurable: more and more seniors are getting the proper nutrition that they need to maintain their health.
Promoting healthy eating has a secondary effect on a senior’s overall health: it helps them maintain their independence!
Since many seniors cannot adequately feed themselves or their spouses, a potential next step is to enter a nursing home. Since this is a great fear among senior populations, almost everyone, from family members to advocacy groups, wants to avoid this happening.
This is why meal delivery is so important: if seniors can get adequate nutrition, they can live in their own homes longer!
Delivery drivers are also performing wellness checks on our senior clients. This helps them have a second or third pair of eyes to monitor their health and home situation.
Assist in Raising Funds
Since Meals on Wheels of Contra Costa mainly assists our partners with raising money to offset the cost of our meals, our office volunteers are directly contributing to raising those funds!
We know that stuffing envelopes might not be the most glamorous task, especially since administration work isn’t nearly as exciting as being a delivery driver. But, our volunteers allow our staff to focus on writing grants and attending events to raise money.
We also have many event volunteers that are knowledgeable about the organization who can help communicate our mission to potential new donors. This vital activity helps our Contra Costa community learn more about what we do and about ways to help the community they might not have thought of before.
Volunteer Opportunities with Meals on Wheels Near Me
Meals on Wheels of Contra Costa and our partners welcome volunteers for fundraising and as meal delivery delivers! We always need administration work done in our office, such as stuffing envelopes. We also need event volunteers: this means staffing our different fundraising or informational events throughout the year.
Our partners can always use delivery drivers as more routes are added to help many more seniors. Delivery drivers not only deliver meals but help perform wellness checks for our senior clients. There are also more volunteer opportunities available, depending on the need and number of seniors each partner serves.