Senior Center needs volunteers for Meals on Wheels, assistance with clean-up

Volunteers serve meals at the Wellington Senior Center.

by Amber Schmitz, Sumner Newscow — Want to volunteer for a worthwhile organization, have fun and make new friends? The Wellington Senior Center is in need of volunteers to help with the Meals on Wheels.

“We are in need of volunteers,” said Meals on Wheels Manager Cindy Martin. “They would be helping sack breads or cup fruit, things like that, or help with cleaning trays and pans. I need someone who I can tell I need you this day, this week, and if possible, someone I can call if extra help is needed.”

The meals are prepared at a satellite location in Caldwell, and then delivered to the Wellington site. Volunteers arrive at the center about 10 a.m. and begin packaging meals for for a driver to deliver to homebound people signed up to receive them.

“The people who come and have lunch here are like family,” Martin said. “They have a wonderful time, joke around, and we have special days planned for speakers. On birthdays, we have cake and ice cream to celebrate.”

The ones who choose to congregate at the Senior Center are served beginning at 11:45 a.m. Monday through Friday. Those who volunteer at the center always receive a free meal.

“I always let volunteers know ahead of time what their job will be, whether it’s washing trays and pans, or sacking up homebound meals,” Martin said. “They receive breaks in between and are usually out of here by 1 p.m. Everyone here is strictly volunteer.”

Martin said if someone is interested in volunteering, they are more than welcome to visit the center and follow them around to see what it’s like first.

“Come in, try it, look around, I’ll show you what to do, you might like it,” Martin said. “I believe you have to come in and do what you’re supposed to do, then we can have a good time.”

The Senior Center is a wonderful place for not only food, but fellowship. For a donation of $3, those who are 60 years old and above can eat a balanced meal. For those under 60, a $4.75 donation is required.

“For some people, it’s the only meal they get each day, and they can break it up into two meals,” Martin said. “Everyone gets a good meal, and gets full. People start meeting here at 10 a.m. just to visit.”

Nearly 100 meals are served daily, and even more on liver and onion or beef cutlet and meatloaf days. Those who are interested in eating on a certain day must sign up by 10 a.m. the following day so the food count will be accurate.

“If people want to receive meals, they can come in and pick up a menu, then decide what days they want to eat,” Martin said. “I have to give an assessment before they are given a meal, then we can start delivering meals. It’s a pretty easy process.”

The Senior Center offers a variety of programs, including Bingo every Tuesday, monthly speakers, and a group meets to play cards every Tuesday evening. A craft event is being planned for Aug. 23, hosted by Health Vac, a home health service, who will show the crowd how to make a fall wreath. Reservations must be made so that there are enough materials and ice cream available. Call the Senior Center at 326-3942 to sign up.

Even if you don’t eat lunch at the Senior Center, you can still order homemade cinnamon rolls that are made at the Caldwell site. A dozen is $6.50 and a half dozen is $4, and must be ordered two weeks prior to them being served at the center. Martin can order 15 dozen total per month.

“Everyone goes around talking and visiting, and people make a lot of friends here, everyone is so friendly,” Martin said. “I think if more people knew what we were about, we could have a packed house.”

Anyone wishing to volunteer, or make volunteer recommendations, please call Cindy Martin at the Senior Center, 326-3942.

“We have wonderful volunteers, they are good about letting me know when they can and can’t come in, and are there when we need extra help,” Martin said.

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