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'It's rewarding': Meals on Wheels volunteers encourage others to join

bob johnson meals on wheels metro tulsa volunteer
Posted at 5:11 AM, Jun 25, 2024

TULSA, Okla. — Those looking for something to do this summer can volunteer for Meals on Wheels.

Meals on Wheels Metro Tulsa is looking for more meal delivery drivers and held a volunteer fair on June 25. It's similar to a job fair, except it’s aimed at recruiting volunteers.

A couple of those volunteers talked to 2 News before they went out the door to deliver some meals and told us why they joined.

One of them is Joyce George, who started volunteering a year and a half ago and runs weekly routes.

After retirement, George felt she needed to be more active and do something. Then she saw a friend volunteering on TV and got inspired.

"My goodness, I need to do something like that," she thought to herself.

She told us she sees the impact she has on people “and how much they appreciate what someone does for them.”

“I mean, I have had some really good clients,” George added. “Now, a lot of them are elderly, but a lot of them just need help, and you just feel like you’re doing something for them.”

The pandemic forced Bob Johnson, another volunteer, into retirement and pushed him to move back to Tulsa from St. Petersburg, FL.
Johnson told us he wasn’t ready to return to full-time work and figured helping Meals on Wheels would be a fun way to get out of the house.

“I’m giving back to the community, which has given a lot to me over the years,” he said. “And I’m [a] native Tulsan. [I’ve] lived all over the United States, but [I] always come back to Tulsa because it’s such a great city.”

“You can really see a difference when you bring the food up to the house," he also noted. "You have a chance to talk to the folks for just a minute."

"I had one lady the other day who was— I think I’m probably one of the only ones she gets to talk to on a regular basis," Johnson added. "[I] ended up just spending about 15 minutes with her just chatting.”

It’s those personal relationships that inspire Johnson and hundreds of other volunteers to keep at it. Those hundreds help Meals on Wheels throughout the year, especially around the holidays.

An organization official told 2 News they’re always looking for more weekly volunteers since their regular volunteer number fluctuates from week to week.

Meals on Weals said there are flexible opportunities. They explained a variety of volunteer roles can accommodate most schedules, offering weekly, monthly, or occasional opportunities.

When asked what they would tell prospective volunteers, both Johnson and George enthusiastically said, "Do it."

"It’s rewarding," said George. "It doesn’t take that much time out of your week, out of your day, and you feel like you’ve really added something back to people that need it.”

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