Archive for the ‘senior citizens’ Category

meals on wheelsFor my 16th deed, I signed up for “Prepping and Delivering food with City Meals-on-Wheels ” through New York Cares.  It is run by a local Senior Center in Brooklyn, where food is prepared and then delivered.   When I arrived, I was greeted by a wonderful woman named Stacy who gave me gloves, a hair net, and quickly put me to work.

There were about 8 other people that volunteered and worked alongside employees of the Senior Center.  I spent most of my time dishing out food into containers, which consisted of: salad, rice, tuna, and apple sauce.  Everything about the process was organized, well kept, and sanitary.

I then had the opportunity to walk around and deliver the meals to homes in the area.  Most of the people were elderly and had trouble preparing meals for themselves or even leaving the house.  The worker that  delivered meals with me explained that on a lot of occasions, we are the only people they see all day.  I made sure to smile, be friendly and do my best to brighten their day.

In total 258 meals, 269 cold packs, over 300 fruit cocktails and applesauce were prepped, packed, labeled, and delivered to seniors for the week.  Taking part in the project really made me realize the simple things I take for granted, such as cooking for myself or even having the ability to leave the home.  I really enjoyed volunteering for the project and recommend you give it a shot as well!

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The Village Care rehab center provides care and housing for people recovering from a wide variety of ailments.  Some people are in and out quickly and sadly, some never leave.  When I arrived I was greeted by the project leader Jane, who you really have to meet to appreciate.  She was energetic, quirky, fun, and truly passionate about volunteering.  I spent my time going from room to room with Jane to engage with the residents and invite them to bingo night (she was quite the saleswoman).

I have had this deed circled on my calendar for quite a while as it  is something I hold close to my heart.  My grandfather spent a few years in a similar nursing home before passing.  My family and I visited him as much as possible but many other patients never received visitors.  The program is designed to get the residents out of their room to play bingo or other various board games. However, to me, the real purpose is spend time with them to try and brighten their day.  I did my best to make them smile but I found they did even more than that for me.  There is way too much to write about the incredible people I met that night but here are some of the highlights:

  • I met a woman who published over 20 travel guides and has been all over the world.  Listening to her tell stories about the places she has been was just incredible.
  • In the same room with her was a quirky hilarious woman who made me laugh from the moment I stepped in the room.  She jokingly offered me $10 to sneak her a bottle of rum for their virgin “Pina Colada” day.
  • I met a man with a 17 inch laptop that he couldn’t have been more proud of.  He was excited to have all his files from his desktop computer and was thrilled to use the wi-fi in the building to surf the web and check email.
  • When I walked into one woman’s room, she asked “Are you here for my sex therapy??”  She was obviously joking but I played along and had a ball of laughs.

What struck me was how upbeat and happy all of the residents were.  No matter how ill they were, you would never know anything was wrong.  I am definitely going to volunteer there again as I had a great time and felt like I made a difference with the residents.