Student gives back through volunteering with Meals on Wheels
- Author: Alicia Carter
- Author: Wednesday, May 20th, 2020
For MJ Mayo, a senior from Henderson majoring in English and political science, the COVID-19 pandemic sparked a desire to give back. Mayo decided to volunteer her time delivering meals for her local Meals on Wheels program.
“I’ve wanted to focus my energy into giving back instead of dwelling on the limitations and uncertainty of COVID-19. And, with the total chaos of our former schedules, my life is so much better when I live it productively,” Mayo said.
Mayo’s mother is affiliated with the Green River Area Development District, which runs her district’s Meals on Wheels program. When the need arose for more volunteers, her mother asked if she would be interested in serving.
“In the eight weeks I’ve been volunteering, my route has increased every week, and it will continue to increase,” Mayo said.
Mayo has a message for her fellow Hilltoppers. She is encouraging fellow students to join her in volunteering their time as schedules free up for summer break.
“Volunteering with your local district’s program is not only an excellent use of your time, but also an easy way to get in touch with and serve your community,” Mayo said. “The folks I deliver to are some of the kindest and most appreciative people I’ve met.”
Mayo said that although she may be doing something very small, she realizes that she is a direct link between senior citizens who may be isolated and the rest of the community. Mayo said volunteering has been a humbling experience, one that has propelled her to encourage others to serve as well.
Meals on Wheels is the popular name for a program provided in Kentucky by the Nutrition Program for the Elderly. The program delivers meals each weekday to people age 60 years and older. Meals on Wheels was recently expanded by the state in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which resulted in an increase in the number of people who are eligible.
For more information about volunteering, call your local senior center, or visit the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services at www.cfhs.ky.gov.