2014-Volunteer-HonoreesMeals on Wheels for WNY (MOW-WNY) delivers nearly 4,000 meals each weekday to homebound seniors and disabled individuals in Erie County.  This critical safety net task wouldn’t be possible without the help of 1,500 dedicated volunteers who deliver the meals to each day’s clients.

For some of those volunteers, the experience becomes a permanent part of their lives.  Yesterday, Meals on Wheels honored volunteers that have reached milestones of 20, 25, 30 and 35 years.

Nineteen individuals were honored (10 for 20 years, 5 for 25 years, 4 for 30 years) as well as two organizations.  Moot Senior Center, which delivers meals though Meals on Wheels’ “Adopt-A-Route” program has been serving the organization for 35 years, while the Buffalo chapter of the Internal Revenue Service has delivered meals for 20 years.

Volunteers and their families enjoyed food, drinks and live music at the recognition event and each honoree received a certificate of appreciation and a specially engraved plate.  Plaques with all of the honorees’ names and photos were hung at the Meals on Wheels central office as part of the Volunteer Wall of Fame.

“It’s incredible to think about the number of volunteers that we have who reach 20, 25, 30 or even 35 years of service,” Tara A. Ellis, President and CEO, MOW-WNY, said.  “Most people don’t stay at a paid job that long – let alone a volunteer opportunity.  But many of our volunteers become close friends with the clients and the regular meal delivery visits become as important to our volunteers as they are to our clients.”

In addition to its wonderful existing 1,500 volunteers, MOW-WNY has need of additional help to meet the ever growing need for deliveries.  Learn more about volunteering at http://mealsonwheelswny.org/volunteer