I live in a middle class household in Southfield. I was used to getting what I wanted and only focused on myself. In 2011, my uncle suggested that I volunteer for Meals on Wheels, a program that delivers meals to seniors. Volunteering for Meals on Wheels was the most significant impact of my life because it caused me to reevaluate myself and what my purpose should be.
My uncle and I got up early on Christmas to get the meals. We received routes to deliver meals throughout Detroit. As we were driving I saw abandoned houses, people living in tents, and people begging for money. I realized how lucky I am.
We delivered meals to 42 seniors but one senior named Raymond stood out. When I knocked on Raymond’s door, he yelled “If you are selling something I don’t have any money for you sir so go away!” When I responded that I’m giving you a free meal for Christmas he stopped yelling, thanked me, then told me about how he ended up on Meals on Wheels.
Raymond grew up in Detroit with his mother, his only family. At age 12 his mother died and he was put into foster care. His life got better when he was an adult. In his sixties he was laid off, forced to sell most of his belongings and now lives off of welfare.
I found that I really look forward to delivering meals on the holidays and talking to people that I wouldn’t normally encounter. Volunteering for Meals on Wheels caused me to realize that you shouldn’t take things for granted. If I can do one small gesture of service for one person, I know I can do more to help others to better their lives.