Give a meal. Earn a smile.

By Lulu Abdun, Summer Programs Associate at Volunteer Odyssey

Ever 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 feed their hungry bellies but grass and leaves. 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.

Retrieving meal from the cooler

Retrieving meal from the cooler

To fulfill this obligation of mine, I have 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.

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My sister Sophia and me! About to deliver a meal

My first time delivering meals was a time I’ll never forget. I went with my twin sister from 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 Meals 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. 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 that 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 go back to 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 felt like I achieved another goal I had set.

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.

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Returning with an empty cooler

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