Meals on Wheels: Delivering more than lunch
For hundreds of southern Indiana residents, it is the one visit they look forward to all day long. We found out first hand this week that Meal on Wheels volunteers are serving up more than just a hot lunch.
Clients describe Robert Dziatkouski as one of a kind.
Meals on Wheels recipient, Roberta Estes says, "Oh he is great. He's real special."
As he drops off a meal of chicken salad, a banana and soup at her Jeffersonville home, she offers up her expert tips about gardening.
"Well I lived on a farm for eleven years. There ain't nothing I can't tell you about," she says.
"A lot of times, that volunteer is the only person that elderly person is going to see or talk to that entire day," explains Lucy Koester with the aging agency, LifeSpan Resources.
Dziatkouski, is a LifeSpan Resources volunteer. The agency delivers more than 600 meals a day to elderly or disabled residents in Scott, Harrison, Floyd and Clark Counties. He doesn't get paid and gives back the money he's reimbursed for gas.
"You would hope that they'd be somebody there to help you out and how can you expect somebody else to do it if your not willing to help somebody out yourself, explains Dziakouski.
As a volunteer he spends two hours a morning two days a week delivering meals on top of his full time job at Horseshoe Casino.
"You walk up to the door and they have a smile on their face and they're just happy to see you," he says.
"Our volunteers are the eyes and ears out there in the community, they provide that daily check on our clients," says Koester.
LifeSpan says volunteers are always needed.
"We need volunteers that back up the volunteers we need volunteers that sub for the volunteers so that we make sure that our clients get those meals every day," says Koester.
With Americans living longer there's an increased need to provide service to the ever growing elderly population.
"We just see an increasing need for all in home services for our elderly people it's very important," says Koester.
"It's just a sense of being part of the community and doing my part," says Dziakouski.
For more information on how to volunteer: http://www.lsr14.org/help.html#volunteer