Last month we were invited to participate in a preschool philanthropy program through Wee Volunteer . Though Wee Volunteer offers a variety of projects, this one was for Meals on Big Wheels where preschoolers help deliver meals to the elderly. We were available on the scheduled day, but I was hesitant to commit. It was 45 minutes from home and over the lunch hour. I envisioned schlepping four winey, hangry kids, and hot meals in sweltering heat. Misery, it seemed. In my heart, I knew it was an excellent opportunity and decided to accept the invitation despite my reservations. I didn’t know exactly what to expect, but had been told we would ride a bus then deliver meals in apartment complexes.
The kids weren’t terribly excited about being mini couriers, but the idea of riding a bus for the first time was enough to get them dressed and out the door. Thankfully the bus exceeded their expectations (and mine)! We rode in style in a charter bus complete with picture windows and purple party lights. It was the first time the kids could really see outside the windows of a vehicle, and they were in awe.
While we traveled, the program founder, Michelle Chase, told us about Wee Volunteer. Five years ago, she started the organization to help teach her young girls about serving others. The program has grown to include projects involving animals, children in need, gifts of gratitude, elderly, the environment, homelessness, and hunger. Our project included a route that is typically covered by paid employees of Meals on Wheels. As a result, our service saved enough funds to feed 20 clients for an entire week. In addition to the monetary support of our service, Michelle pointed out that many Meals on Wheels clients have very few, if any visitors. Whoever delivers the meal could be their only visitor and contact with the outside world. Because of this, we encouraged the children to be friendly and smile.
Matthew 5:16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
Every client received a meal resembling a TV dinner with a piece of fruit and a drink. Each child was responsible for carrying and handing over about two meals. All of the kids really enjoyed getting to knock on doors and shout, “MEALS ON WHEELS!!” Sometimes, we had to practice patience as the client took a little time to reach the door.
Overall the kids did really well making deliveries, and seemed to enjoy serving others. Towards the end, things became challenging. The kids became thirsty, hungry, and hot, and they let this be known. Service isn’t always easy, it involves making sacrifices to help others. Both the kids and I learned a lot from this experience and look forward to more like it.
All of the wee volunteers weren’t willing to be photographed, but included in the group were 18 kiddos ages two to four years old. Wouldn’t it brighten your day to have these guys deliver your lunch?
What is your favorite service project or charitable organization?