This month, we would like to introduce you to an exciting addition to our our monthly News: a “Volunteer Spotlight!” This month, we’re featuring The Smithwicks. Lenice and Jack Smithwick have been volunteering through OWBC’s Meals on Wheels program for quite some time and recently have helped a regular client who had fallen down and was in need of medical assistance.
Lenice was kind enough to answer some of our questions to provide insight as to what it’s like to be a longtime volunteer.
Q: How long have you been delivering Meals on Wheels?
A: I have been delivering for Meals on Wheels for about 11 years. My husband joined me about 5 years ago. Our church, First Presbyterian in Georgetown, was involved from the beginning, about 1979.
Q: Why did you decide to volunteer for Meals on Wheels?
A: I wanted to deliver for Meals on Wheels because I’ve always loved being around older people. There was a need for additional volunteers from our church so I signed up after I quit work.
Q: From your recent experience with a Georgetown client who had fallen, tell us why Meals on Wheels is important for seniors living on their own.
A: I think our experience with this client was the perfect example of why this service is so important. I also have loved having the same route each session. I think it is important to get to know the clients so we can actually tell if something seems off. I used to volunteer with a lady who is a R.N. We noticed something seemed off with one of our clients one day, and immediately afterwards she got very dizzy when she came to the door. Luckily my partner recognized what she needed, so we had her sit down and called for help. If we didn’t know her, we might not have noticed she seemed “off”.
Q: What is your favorite part about volunteering for Meals on Wheels?
A: My favorite part of delivering for Meals on Wheels is getting to know the clients. Sometimes we are the only ones who see them during the day and they just want to talk. It is fun to visit with them and then ask them about previous discussions. I also love getting to know their pet animals and remembering their pet’s names. That always makes them feel special.
Q: What would you tell someone interested in donating to or volunteering for Meals on Wheels?
A: I would tell anyone who was interested in volunteering or donating that the food that is served is well-balanced and nutritious. It may be the only nutritious meal they get for the day so it is really important. The personal connection is also really important to them.
We are so grateful to loyal volunteers like the Smithwicks who have truly gone above and beyond to make a difference in our community. Thank you, Mr. and Mrs. Smithwick!