If you enjoy meeting new people and would like to get involved with a local community based organization, think about becoming a volunteer with Meals on Wheels Inc. Our volunteers are critical to our operations. Quite simply, without volunteer involvement our organization could not function. Volunteers play an integral role at all levels of our operations including delivering meals to clients, assisting the implementation of the Wheels to Meals and Community Cooking programs, helping with fund raising events, providing office support, and guiding the overall operation of the organization as members of our Board of Directors.
Meal Delivery Volunteers
In 2007, approximately 250 volunteers delivered over 40,000 meals
Although individual reasons for volunteering vary, most volunteers find the experience of being a meal delivery driver to be very rewarding. In fact we have volunteer drivers who have been delivering meals with Meals on Wheels for decades.
We often meet people who say they have thought about volunteering as a driver for Meals on Wheels but because they seem to be busy and on-the-go all the time, they are hesitant to commit more of their time. In fact, the expectations and time requirements of becoming a volunteer driver are probably a lot less than you think; because the amount of time involved in being a volunteer driver is up to you. We have drivers who drive two or three times a week; others who drive once a week, or once or twice a month, or only if they happen to be available when a regular driver has called to cancel.
Here is what you need to know:
As a first step, given the vulnerability of some of our clients and because drivers go into clients homes, Meals on Wheels volunteers are required to pass a security check with the Department of Social Development, and, either the Fredericton Police Department or the RCMP, depending on whether they live inside or outside of city limits. Any fees charged for security checks are reimbursed by Meals on Wheels.
Every new driver is then given training in delivery procedures and when delivering, is provided with a map of the city, an “On Delivery” sign to display on the dash of their vehicle, and a route sheet which generally has a maximum of 12 deliveries. Meals to be delivered to the south side of the city are picked up at the Dr. Everett Chalmers Hospital. Meals to be delivered to the north side of the city are picked up from York Manor. Overall, the amount of time required to pick up and deliver the meals, and then return the insulated delivery bags to the depot is about one hour.
Delivery routes vary in length. Drivers use their own vehicles to deliver meals and are asked to keep a log of their mileage in order to receive an income tax receipt at the end of the year.
Wheels to Meals Volunteers
Instead of delivering meals to clients in their homes, the Wheels to Meals program brings senior clients together to enjoy a meal in a large group setting. This weekly luncheon takes place at St. Mary’s Anglican Church Hall on McEvoy Street on Tuesdays from September to June and as always, you decide the frequency of your volunteer involvement.
Wheels to Meals volunteers help in a variety of roles:
You may wish to be a driver; responsible for transporting one or more participants to and from the weekly luncheon. The time commitment is approximately from 10:45 – 11:15 and 12:45 to 1:15 (unless you choose to stay for the meal). Wheels to Meals drivers undergo the same orientation and screening procedures as meal delivery drivers and often do both roles.
Wheels to Meals also requires Hall Volunteers. As a Hall Volunteer, you share responsibility with a group of others for setting the tables, decorating the hall, serving the meal and helping with clean up. It’s fun, it’s fast paced, and it’s a refreshing and rewarding social experience.
Another volunteer opportunity with the Wheels To Meals program is to be the entertainment. A big part of the draw of the Wheels to Meals program is that local performers come to entertain the participants between 12:15 and 12:45. If you or anyone you know would be interested in performing for those attending the luncheon, please let us know. Normal volunteer Screening requirements do not apply.
Office Support Volunteers
An extra pair of volunteer hands at our office is always appreciated. There are menus to be organized, clients to be contacted, inter-agency telephone calls to be made, photocopying and folding to be done as well as any number of other ongoing tasks.
As a not-for-profit organization that has to be always actively fundraising, the more help we have to organize and reach out to the community, the more resources we will have to address changing demands. If you enjoy planning events, organizing details, or contacting / meeting new people, perhaps you would be interested in volunteering to help us raise funds.
As a Meals on Wheels volunteer, you will be able to refresh your skills or learn new ones, meet interesting people, and increase your potential for paid employment by increasing your community contacts.
Special Events Volunteers
If you would prefer that your volunteer involvement be occasional, your assistance on an on-call basis at our promotional and fundraising events would be appreciated. You could be asked to help hand out brochures, sell raffle tickets, or perhaps participate at bake, craft, or yard sales.
Member, Board of Directors
As a member of the Board of Directors you have the opportunity to share your experience, your skills, your professionalism and your passion for your community. You will be called upon to help guide the growth and development of Meals on Wheels of Fredericton Inc. while at the same time doing something valuable and meaningful for yourself.
The commitment involves one meeting per month (usually lasting about 2 hours), and depending on your interest and expertise, you may be asked to join one of the board committees. Committee meetings also generally take place once a month for one to two hours.
Members of the Board of Directors are encouraged to become thoroughly familiar with the programs by occasionally volunteering as a Meals On Wheels driver and/or attending the Wheels To Meals events. These commitments need not be any more frequent than is convenient for the volunteer.
The time commitment for all volunteer roles is up to you. We would be happy to talk with you about the various roles and responsibilities, the time involved, or any other questions you may have.
If you would like to know more, please contact John Carty by telephone at 458-9482, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Link to Volunteer Application: application