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My Meals on Wheels mentor

There was no one better in the whole world that I could have been paired up with for my first day as a Meals on Wheels volunteer than Eddie Friel. Eddie was not only my driver, driving me to each client’s home for me to drop off a meal, but he was also a mentor for a rookie like me.

Eddie is definitely a veteran having volunteered with Meals on Wheels for 20 years. He started volunteering when he retired and was looking for something to do. He hasn’t turned back since, volunteering his time twice-a-week.

“I don’t get paid, but I do get coffee and cookies, and I have a sweet tooth,” he said with a smile.

80 years-old, Eddie comes with a kind spirit and an Irish accent. But, he is also all business when it comes to his route. He never once checked the route map; he knew exactly where he was going. He also knew each of the clients and exactly how they liked their meals delivered. After each delivery, I would return to the van, to find the next meal organized for me, ready to be delivered, and a set of instructions for the next client.

“For this house, just knock and walk right in, and place the meal on the counter,” he said once, prepping me for a delivery.

He told me Meals on Wheels has allowed his clients to stay in their homes. He said sometimes he is the only person they see all day long.

After we finished the route and went back to the office, the volunteer coordinator asked Eddie about how I did on my first day.

“She did well. I’ll give her three stars,” he said playfully teasing both of us.

From a veteran like Eddie, that’s a pretty good compliment. I’ll take that.

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