Community service is and has been an activity that holds a special place in my heart. I commend Ogallala Commons for inviting us to complete community service. It is a vital part of a community’s ability to provide help to organizations that support those in need. In thinking about how I wanted to lend my time in my hometown, I decided to spend more time at an organization whose mission I truly believe in: Meals on Wheels. With more individuals reaching an elderly age within the community, we have a growing number of people who are unable to obtain food due to driving or mobility issues. It is our duty to ensure that they have access to balanced meals that can be delivered straight to their door.
I actually began volunteering here in the summer of 2017 and was excited to be returning for the third summer in a row. Pampa Meals on Wheels does a great job of providing delicious meals to individuals all over town, something that I really got to experience this time around. My duties this summer involved receiving a route and delivering the meals, additional sides, desserts, and other items to each of the households on my list. Because I was simply filling in where needed, I had to chance to take several different routes. Some of the routes involved driving from house to house while a couple of others involved unloading the cooler from the car and walking from apartment to apartment (which was a bit challenging to navigate at first). I had the chance to meet several sweet men and women, exchange stories and conversations, and even give treats to their pets (a fun idea that Pampa Meals on Wheels came up with). It was so cool getting to see that different areas that this organization touches, and it was humbling to feel appreciated by these community members that count on us to make life a little less difficult..
One of the most exciting things about this summer, though, was pulling in others to come volunteer with me. My younger brother was in town for the month of June before heading back to Lubbock in July for classes. I invited him to come volunteer, and we were able to be more efficient in pulling up directions and delivering these meals quickly and efficiently. It was a fun time to reminisce on the memories we made in 2018 while volunteering, and we were able to make more. I also partnered with a local business to get them involved with volunteering. Thanks to my connections with the director of marketing, I was able to pitch my idea that local businesses should get involved with volunteering, especially with Meals on Wheels. Meals on Wheels tends to lose volunteers once school starts up again and regular life schedule resumes. However, if a company could take an hour out of their day once a week or so and deliver meals, they would have a chance to positively impact the community, and Meals on Wheels would still have volunteers. I felt like this was a great opportunity because now, even though I have left for college, I know that there is someone else willing to continue helping out.