Volunteer in the New Year

Many people choose to donate their time or goods to non-profit organizations. Local Meals on Wheels of Central Maryland, NAMI, Hope Works, and many other groups are in serious need of help.

Meals on Wheels offers meals at minimal or no cost to people who cannot afford or get their own food. While the elderly make up the majority of the clients, young people with disabilities or financial insecurity can also qualify to receive the service.

Providing service since 1960, Meals on Wheels offers more than just food. Grocery shopping services, social support services and pet food are also major parts of this organization.

Clients that are served by Meals on Wheels of Central Maryland reside in Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Frederick, Harford, Howard, and Montgomery Counties, as well as Baltimore City.

Volunteers can drive to clients’ homes and deliver the food. This helps the clients receive their food faster and makes the company more efficient.

A supportive service of Meals on Wheels, Kibble Connection, acquires pet food for clients who cannot afford to take care of their pets but do not want to get rid of them. This lesser known part of the organization critically needs donations. Seventy-one nearby clients receive pet food from Meals on Wheels’ Kibble Connection. Some volunteers deliver pet food through the Kibble Connection service.

If helping does not motivate you enough, you can earn service hours. Volunteering looks great on a resume. Service projects, like Cozy Mug Covers and Mugs of Love, are a major part of Meals on Wheels. According to employee Emily Trotter, “We have some great opportunities for students.”

If you are crafty and want to help, Cozy Covers collects and donates handmade blankets. Mugs of Love collects mugs bought or made, filled with a card, a can of soup or a packet of hot cocoa.

Homebound Health Kit is another project. Bags of dental supplies and cold weather essentials are prepared by volunteers and are given out to clients. It makes people’s days to receive these items.

Trotter said that when you volunteer, you are, “helping to touch [the client’s] lives.”

Hosting a fundraising event to benefit Meals on Wheels or organizing a “Day of Giving” project is very popular. When doing these things, you can interact and connect with people all over the community.

The “Tri to Win the Fight Against Senior Hunger” is a triathlon held in Carroll County on Father’s Day annually. The triathlon benefits many families in need of help.

While the best opportunities are in the summer, volunteers are needed in every season. Whether you donate food, money or your time, be sure to give back to the community in some way this year.

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