Volunteering Updates…

A few people asked for an update on my volunteering efforts. Here are the highlights…

Summary:

It’s been about 3 months, I volunteer only 1 day per week at Meals on Wheels in Santa Monica. My job is to drive around and deliver meals to people who can’t source food for themselves. Some clients are bedridden, some sick or mentally ill, most are just extremely old.

Downsides:

  • LA traffic sucks.
  • The MOW organization is understaffed, so it puts a strain on the volunteers that actually show up.
  • It can be sad and depressing to see how the clients live. Messy and smelly homes, extreme poverty, it’s hard not to get emotional after every visit.

Upsides:

  • I’m slowly making friends with the other volunteers. They are nice people.
  • I feel good after each shift, and am constantly reminded how blessed I am in life.
  • Everyone says “thank you” and wishes me a nice day when I give them food. People helping people is a beautiful thing to be a part of.

Funny Stories:

  • I get hit on by most of the old ladies I deliver to. One 80 y/o woman said I could “put my shoes under her bed”. After each shift I go home and tell my wife how many new girlfriends I made that day.

 

  • One old lady asked me inside to help her shut the blinds in the living room because she couldn’t reach. I did it. Then she asked if I could shut the kitchen blinds too. I did it. Then the bedroom ones.. I did those too. Then she asked me to help her open the living room blinds. It then occurred to me that I was the only visitor she had all day and she was just making up chores so that I would stay and chat. She just needed a friend.

 

  • One old man dresses up in a 3-piece suit every day, even though he never leaves his house. He wants to look his absolute best for the 20-30 seconds when I come to his front door. It’s the highlight of his day.

 

  • Some of the clients I deliver to have oceanfront apartments with spectacular views. Due to rent control and gov subsidies, they have lived in these apartments for 40+ years paying very low rent. If I was to rent something similar today, it would cost me at least $5,000 per month. (There is poverty everywhere, even in the richest suburbs)

Have a great day!
– Joel

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