Now is the Time. Memphis is the Place.

Guest Post: Give A Meal. Earn A Smile.

Photo: MIFA
2nd photo for volunteer feature (lulu)

Photo: Volunter Odyssey

Since I was a small girl, my mother has told me about hunger. All over the world, there are people who go without meals, parents who feed their children without feeding themselves, and people who have nothing to fill their hungry bellies. That’s not where my experience stopped, though. Learning about hunger and seeing it first hand by living in a city where almost 30% of the population lives under the poverty line, I feel as though I am obligated to make a difference in others’ lives who do not have the means and/or capabilities to obtain food.

1st photo for volunteer feature (lulu)

Photo: Volunter Odyssey

So, I decided to do something about it. I started delivering meals with MIFA’s Meals on Wheels program. Meeting such wonderful people at MIFA who care about giving back to their community is so meaningful and worthwhile. Whether printing my driving route, opening the doors of homes, or returning to MIFA with an empty cooler, I always saw a smile on someone’s face.

My first time delivering meals was one I’ll never forget. I went with my twin sister for door to door greeting Meals clients with a smile and handing them a hot meal. Delivering meals in such a diverse city, one is bound to come across some amazing people. One client we encountered was a World War II veteran who was about to turn 95! Giving food to those in need gave our lives meaning.

Photo: Volunter Odyssey

Photo: Volunter Odyssey

After delivering meals, we made our way back to MIFA. As we dropped off the empty coolers, a MIFA employee asked us when we were available to deliver meals again. Knowing they continually need volunteers, we were honored to be asked back and to know that MIFA cares about retaining their volunteers.

One of the reasons I joined the Volunteer Odyssey team was to help others find places to volunteer where they could return on a regular basis instead of going to several different places here and there. Because MIFA gave me the opportunity to come back to deliver meals, I am also helping others see the value of volunteering.

Delivering meals on one route takes about an hour. If you have a car or know someone that has a car, you can take a mere hour of your day to help others, to make a difference in someone else’s life. Take the first step. Take 90 seconds to learn how to become a Meals on Wheels volunteer.