Volunteers help avert emergencies

Volunteer delivering meal

Sue Johnson and Lisa Fahey both enjoy a routine of delivering Meals on Wheels every week. Thanks to their weekly route, both recently helped people they deliver to out of difficult and potentially life-threatening situations.

For caregivers, knowing that a Meals on Wheels driver will see their loved one over the noon hour brings relief. Sue and Lisa each have stories about how their deliveries helped prevent a more serious situation.

Being there when someone else couldn’t

Sue delivers meals every Friday for Bloomington-Eden Prairie Meals on Wheels. When Sue arrived at Sherry’s* house, Sherry wasn’t able to get to the door. Sue was able to open the door and found that Sherry was on the floor.

Sue Johnson
Sue Johnson

“She said she couldn’t move and asked me to get her phone,” Sue said.

They decided to call for help and waited for the paramedics to arrive. “I sat with her on the ground and held her hand,” Sue said. “She said that her husband had recently passed away and she now lives alone. She just wanted to have a conversation.”

Sue’s co-driver was able to continue the route while she stayed with Sherry.

Sherry’s son arrived along with the paramedics. “He said that during the night someone is always there with her,” Sue said. “He and his sisters rotate who comes and stays at night. Unfortunately, during the day they can’t always be there.”

Sue said Sherry’s son was thankful that she was able to help his mom through a scary situation. Once she knew Sherry was in good hands, she had her delivery partner come back and pick her up. Sherry got checked out and was able to return home.

‘When she answered, she sounded stressed out’

Lisa had gotten to know Dorothy and her husband Maurice* while delivering meals every Friday for Meals on Wheels in Anoka County & More. A few weeks ago when she called to be buzzed into their apartment complex, she immediately knew something wasn’t right.

Lisa Fahey

“It took her a while to answer the phone, longer than it normally does,” said Lisa. “When she answered, she didn’t sound like herself. She sounded stressed out.”

When Lisa arrived at the apartment, she learned Maurice had fallen and couldn’t get up on his own. Lisa was able to sit with Maurice and see how he was doing. She determined that he wasn’t injured, and the couple didn’t want to call 911.

Feeling confident that she could do it without making the situation worse, Lisa was able to help him to his feet. Staff from Meals on Wheels in Anoka County & More called after the incident and learned that Maurice was okay and thankful that Lisa was able to help.

If not for volunteers like Sue and Lisa, both of these situations could have been more serious. Each day, hundreds of volunteers throughout the Twin Cities are checking on their neighbors when they deliver nutritious meals. We’re thankful for all of you who provide this important service!

Learn more about volunteering with Meals on Wheels. Programs throughout the Twin Cities are in need of more delivery volunteers.

*Names changed to protect identity.

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