Annual Fundraiser Inspires Year-Round Gift of Time and Service
VJ Donnelly of Westborough first learned about the local Meals on Wheels program run by BayPath Elder Services through his work at MetroWest Subaru in Natick. When he joined the company, he took the lead to make Subaru of America’s annual Share the Love campaign as successful as possible. Through Share the Love, Donnelly became well acquainted with Meals on Wheels while collaborating with Allison Park, Nutrition Supervisor at BayPath Elder Services on Share the Love. (In July of this year, BayPath became known as Springwell when BayPath and Springwell merged to broaden their geographic coverage and service offerings to older adults in need.)
One year when Share the Love ended in January, Donnelly didn’t want to say goodbye to Meals on Wheels until November, and he asked about ways to volunteer. There was a home delivered meals route available in Westborough and Donnelly has been delivering meals weekly for six years so far. “Meals on Wheels is important to MetroWest Subaru, and it is important to me personally. MetroWest Subaru takes its commitment to supporting causes in the local community very seriously and for me, delivering meals is a concrete way I can make a difference in the community where I live and am raising my children,” notes Donnelly.
Over the years, Donnelly has gotten to know the meal recipients on his route. “Each person greets me and many of them enjoy chatting for a minute when I bring their meal. Mary is always happy and asks me about my kids and the automotive industry. I have gotten to know each person’s demeanor so I can often tell if something is not going well in their day. When I asked Lisa one day how everything was going, she seemed rattled and commented that she was afraid her identity had been stolen when she shared some information on her computer. I asked if she had called her bank and when she said no, I convinced her to call them. The next week she let me know that the bank was working with her to help straighten everything out. Ruth often asks to see photos of my four children. I didn’t really know if they cared who brought their meals until after I was away for a few weeks, they all welcomed me back warmly and told me how much they missed me. In addition to the nutritious meal, I believe this social interaction is important for these older adults and I am happy I can talk briefly with them each week.”
The local Meals on Wheels program run by Springwell serves twenty communities in the area. If you know someone who would benefit from home delivered meals, learn more here. The program always needs more drivers to help deliver over 500,000 meals annually. There are volunteer and staff driving positions available. If you can help deliver meals, please contact us at 617-926-4100.