Tania Garcia and Nick Andrella started volunteering with Meals on Wheels during the summer of 2016. They were both looking for a volunteer opportunity they could do as a couple. After speaking with a friend, they decided to give Meals on Wheels a try. At the orientation they were pleasantly surprised of the simplicity yet broad impact of the service of meal delivery meant to the community, especially with seniors and adults in need. As a bonus, it was something they could easily do together. “It’s always nerve racking when starting something new but the Meals on Wheels’ team provided an orientation session that was well laid out. We felt less intimidated by our new role. A good comparison is our new renovations at home. You can become nervous when starting a new project. However, once you start, you realize there is not much to be worried out. Breaking that barrier once you meet the client, you feel connected to the volunteer position and to the clients and build on these relationships. It then becomes personal.”
Originally from Ottawa, the volunteer position led them to rediscover their city and find hidden gems, such as neighborhoods and restaurants. Both Tania and Nick are quite busy with their jobs and academic career respectively, yet manage to find time to dedicate to MOW. Tania is currently an Investment Associate for the Edith Gibeault and Mark Currer-Briggs Wealth Management Team at National Bank Financial. Meanwhile Nick is currently completing his PhD in Chemistry, with a diploma in scientific management. He currently works with Dr. R. Tom Baker at the University of Ottawa.
When asked how they juggle their busy lives and make room for MOW they reply: “We have never had a problem juggling per se. Meals on Wheels is a leisurely thing for us to. It’s definitely not a chore. It also helps that Meals on Wheels is an extremely flexible organization and great at communicating with their volunteers on a weekly basis.”
Overall they say their experience has been rewarding: “The clients are very appreciative of the meal they receive and happy to see us! We help an aging community, some who might not have family. This is an organization that delivers approximately 122, 000 meals a year and to be part of that is very rewarding”
Nick adds: “It’s nice volunteering with an organization that’s further reaching then the mission that it sets out to accomplish. It goes beyond delivering healthy meals: you provide peace of mind to families and you cultivate comradery. On top of that, you develop a human relationship that’s mutually beneficial. It’s not complicated. It keeps us coming back and it’s a movement we can get behind.”