Volunteer spotlight: Delivering by day, working at the hospital by night
As both a patient placement manager at a local hospital and a regular Meals on Wheels delivery driver, Jeff Hagadorn is caring for his community.
Jeff has been a Meals on Wheels delivery driver for C.E.S. Meals on Wheels in Minneapolis for more than 10 years. He was delivering once a week before the pandemic hit, but stepped up to deliver three times per week when C.E.S. needed more drivers to deliver extra frozen meals.
Working on-call evening shifts at M Health Fairview Hospital, he’s free to volunteer as needed during the day. While practicing safe distancing during his deliveries, he’s noticed the people he delivers to are extra appreciative of his visits in addition to the food.
“I can feel the social isolation,” Jeff says. “They’re seeking out some kind of contact because they’re not getting any contact. Somebody who has a brother come who comes and visits, the brother can no longer come and visit.”
Jeff says that he also benefits from being able to get out and help his neighbors during this difficult time. “The way to keep your mental health is to keep your routines going,” he says, while noting he’s also been sure to get out on regular walks with his dog.
Over the years, Jeff estimates that he’s done 18 different delivery routes. “I have a few favorite routes that I do because I’ve gotten to know people on those routes,” he says. “It’s enjoyable. I’ve got a degree in history so I can talk with older people. I have one retired teamster where we’ll talk about baseball and we’ll talk about politics for a minute.”
We salute Jeff and all of you who are doing your part to keep meal delivery going when its needed most.
You can support the work people like Jeff are doing during the COVID-19 crisis by making a donation to Meals on Wheels, making or donating masks for our volunteers or signing up to be an on-call volunteer.