Meals-on-Wheels Celebrates “People in Action”

Image: Shirle Ayers — Shirle Ayers’ Volunteer Appreciation Award Winner 2010

Shirle Ayers — Shirle Ayers’ Volunteer Appreciation Award Winner 2010

Ellis County Volunteer awarded for Selfless Service

During National Volunteer Week, April 18-24, Meals-on-Wheels of Johnson and Ellis Counties is proud to honor the organization’s dedicated community of volunteers who tackle the task of delivering meals to 700 clients each day, five days a week. This is but one of the countless stories behind those that make Meals-on-Wheels a continuing success. This year’s theme, "Celebrating People in Action,” appropriately applies to those determined individuals like the Donna Harrington of Midlothian.

Donna always knew that when she retired she wanted to volunteer. Retiring from Hagar after 37 years, Meals-on-Wheels was the right “fit” for her. She began volunteering last September, and now delivers several times a week.

“I have enjoyed my time delivering meals so much,” she said. “At first, the clients were quiet, but now that I am a regular, they have really opened up, and look forward to our visits.”

Although, volunteers are asked to make a weekly commitment, Donna is willing to deliver or “fill-in” on additional days. “The extra days are nothing (to me) because its more than giving of yourself,” she states. “In fact, it’s the other way around. Each client brings something unique and special to me each time I see them,” she adds with a smile.

Donna, like many of our volunteers, personifies this year’s theme for, “Celebrating People in Action.” This can be seen when riding along with Donna on her route. The faces of the seniors light up as they answer the door. She goes the extra mile to make each person feel special. For instance, it was one of the client’s birthday, and she brought daises and a card to celebrate. “She is one of the sweetest people I have ever known,” said one client on her route.

In addition to her volunteer work, Donna enjoys spending time with her husband and 8 four- legged children. All which are rescue animals. She also spends time working in her yard year round, and owns a studio where she creates vases, bowls, and jewelry from glass.

Donna is the proud aunt to 22 nieces and nephews, and 39 great nieces and nephews.

Meals-on-Wheels serves more than 700 people on a daily basis with the help of people from the local communities. “Volunteers are essential for our program to be successful,” said Amy Jackson, director of development. “Without the ongoing dedication of volunteers, we would not be able to impact the lives of the elderly, disabled, and their families.

“Thank you for the invaluable service you provide to our homebound clients!” she added.

Meals-on-Wheels continues to need additional volunteers to help get meals delivered to the homebound elderly and disabled residents throughout the county. Those interested in volunteering or who may know of someone in need of services is asked to call Meals-on-Wheels at 972-351-9943 or access the organization’s Web site at: