Tag: meals on wheels

Diner’s Club Volunteers: Why They Do It

Diner’s Club Volunteers: Why They Do It

What’s not to love about our Diner’s Club? Clients enjoy the delicious meals – tasty soups, hearty sandwiches and yummy desserts. They also look forward to playing cards and socializing with friends – some old, some new, all a delight to catch up with each week. But it isn’t just our clients who love what Diner’s Club has to offer. It’s our volunteers too! Three of our Pakenham Diner’s Club volunteers explain why they love their roles as volunteers:

Mary Throughout her four years of involvement with the Diner’s Club, Mary has realized something vital. You just can’t overstate the importance of social interaction on people’s well being. “Humans are social creatures and, as you age, the social connection becomes very important.”

Volunteering with the Diner’s Club gives Mary the opportunity to be a part of a meaningful social event while only having a couple of hours each month to volunteer. CHSLC makes it easy for her and other volunteers who want to give their time to help out in a way that suits their time availability.

Mary acknowledges that many of the Diner’s Club participants used to be volunteers and now continue to come for the lunch and social interaction. “It’s the greatest program I know for positive effect on the community. I will keep coming long after I am no longer able to volunteer.”

Diane – As one of six siblings in her family, Diane is involved in caring for her mother who has Alzheimer’s. She finds that bringing her mom to these events keeps her mom’s mind sharp.

Diane and her mom love the food but really value the social connection. Her mom is a terrific card player (just ask any of the other participants) and Diane is happy that she can bring her mom to a place each week that gets them both involved and keeps their minds active. “This club helps my mom with her memory. There can be a day when her memory is not so good, but then she comes here and remembers everyone and every hand of cards.”

Diane is happy to volunteer with a program that acts as a helpful boost to its participants’ health and well-being.

Helen – For the past five years, Helen has been volunteering with the Diner’s Club once every six weeks. She is able to volunteer in a way that fits her lifestyle and allows her to pay it forward. Paying it forward is a motto that Helen lives by and she feels that more people could benefit from this life philosophy.

By paying it forward, Helen herself is also benefiting.  She loves the social connection and is able to be involved with a great group of people. She feels like a valued member of a special community.

Thank you to all of our incredible volunteers who are so willing to give their time to help others. We couldn’t do what we do without you!

Diner Club Volunteers
From right to left: Helen, Mary, Myrna, Doreen and Diane

Learn more about volunteer opportunities, by visiting our website and reading more about volunteering through our other articles.

Meet Our Volunteer Dave

Meet Our Volunteer Dave

There are many reasons why our volunteers dedicate their time and energy to helping us help others. For some, it’s about connecting with people, sharing stories and experiences. For others, it’s simply about having the time.

Our whole lives we look forward to the end of our working career. We want to stop the busy train and get off at Retirement Station. We dream of this day. But, as we hear time and again, taking a break from our daily routines and the working life is not all it’s cracked up to be. Sure, the first few weeks or months of retirement are blissful, but what about after that? As humans we need to keep moving and feel useful to live a balanced life — at any age.

“Retired is being twice tired, I’ve thought. First tired of working, then tired of not.” ~Richard Armour

One of our long-time volunteers, Dave, told us he began volunteering because he had the time. As a former member of the military he was used to working hard and for a purpose. Dave knew right away that he didn’t like the stand-still life that retirement awarded him. He liked not having the stress associated with work, but he missed the routine and noticed that he had a lot of time available to him. He wanted to be busy again and work with an organization that could really use his help.

Organizations like ours are always in need of volunteers and monetary donations. We have a strong group of people who are dependable, reliable and glad to help. But, the reality is we have a lot of programs! Fulfilling the needs of each department takes volunteers with various skill sets. Someone like Dave who works in our cafe and drives for Meals on Wheels is just as important to us as our volunteers who visit with our clients for afternoon tea. He’s just as important as the person who clicks on the “Donate” button on our website and makes a monetary contribution to our programs. We all have different skill sets, strengths and available time that can be useful to our beloved clientele.

Dave began volunteering as a driver for our Meals on Wheels program and delivered hot meals to our clientele in the area. When his granddaughter came to visit, his volunteering didn’t stop — he brought her along with him. When you deliver meals to a client’s home time after time, you get to know the person well. We always ask how the person is doing and engage in a little small talk before getting in the car and driving to the next house. When Dave’s granddaughter came along on the car rides, he introduced her to the clients and they warmed up to the sight of her then 4 year old face! Now, Dave’s granddaughter is 18 years old and the last time that she came to visit, she went on a Meals on Wheels tour with her grandfather again.

As an organization we are working to create a community within our community. Seniors and persons with disabilities tend to feel isolated and alone. When people like Dave drop off meals to our clients, they’re bringing a sense of community to our clients’ front door. By engaging in conversation and introducing his granddaughter to our clients, Dave is furthering the community and giving our clients a sense of belonging.

Dave as well as all our volunteers are important to our organization — we truly would not be able to operate without them. Thank you.