While delivering meals is our biggest volunteer need, there are still a number of ways your family can support Meals on Wheels if delivering doesn’t work for your family right now. These fun family-friendly volunteer opportunities are also excellent ways to help seniors and individuals with disabilities in your community.
Metro Meals on Wheels is happy to answer any questions you may have about family-friendly volunteer opportunities. Contact us at [email protected] or call 612-623-3363 with any questions or to find out where to deliver your completed projects or donations. We also love to hear stories about your volunteer experiences! Pictures or stories from your activities can be sent to [email protected] or shared here.
Providing oven mitts for our volunteer delivery drivers helps them deliver in style and protects their hands from the hot meals, all while putting smiles on recipients’ faces. Either buy the mitts (light colored mitts with no pattern work best), have them donated, or ask families to bring some to a service event at your church or school. Here are a few decorating ideas to get you started.
Nothing brightens the days of meal recipients like hand-made greeting cards. Cards are especially appreciated at holidays, birthdays and in times of illness. Meals on Wheels makes sure they get delivered to folks along with their daily meal on the appropriate holiday or birthday. Use your creativity, some paper, and any other art supplies you have and remember to make your cards general enough so they will suit any recipient.
Thoughtfully decorated placemats are a lovely extra to bring to meal recipients, as are sun catchers or other small gifts. If you’re able to laminate the placemats, all the better!
In addition to receiving the hot portion of the meal in a tray, Meals on Wheels recipients get the cold portion in a lunch bag. Add life to their meals by decorating lunch bags! Simply buy paper lunch bags and use your creativity, crayons, markers, stickers, or any art materials you have on hand.
No-sew fleece blankets make for an easy and fun project that can provide warmth and comfort to a Meals on Wheels recipient. You will need to buy the fleece fabric, but making it is quick and easy. Here you can find simple instructions for no-sew fleece blankets.
During the holidays and on birthdays, meal recipients are given a special goodie bag to say, “We care.” This is a great project for families, Girl Scouts, service clubs, school groups or workplace volunteer programs. To make it as easy as possible for individuals and groups to contribute to the program, we have established easy-to-follow instructions and guidelines that can be printed and shared with your group.
Make a difference by hosting a family fundraiser, with the proceeds going to feed seniors and those with disabilities in your community. Here are some fun ideas:
- Collect pennies to donate to Meals on Wheels. Visit www.pennies.org and click on “Penny & Charity.”
- Throw a party. Get a volunteer band and have someone donate food and drinks. Charge a small price for admission and/or ask your guests for donations for Meals on Wheels.
- Rent your family for chores. Offer your services for shoveling snow, raking leaves, sweeping, cleaning, painting or other odd jobs. Let the recipients know that the proceeds will benefit Meals on Wheels.
Meals on Wheels programs depend on individual donations. A contribution of $30 will feed a meal recipient for a week.
Do-good birthdays are an excellent way to encourage children to think about others while having a blast on their big day. Here are some ideas for party projects that benefit Meals on Wheels.
- Choose one of our family-friendly projects, such as creating placemats, lunch bags, cards, blankets or We Care packages as the party’s primary activity. Or do several of these projects!
- If you decide on a no-gift party, consider asking guests to make a donation to Metro Meals on Wheels in lieu of a present.
- Take your child to deliver the items the guests have created and any monetary donations you’ve collected.
“It teaches him compassion and caring for others beyond ourselves. I think volunteering is becoming automatic for him.”
- Tami, who delivers meals with her son Xavier