Polly: 11 Years of Meal Deliveries
If you want to know how to lead a fulfilling and meaningful life in retirement, you might find your answer in Polly, a Meals on Wheels Volunteer. Polly emigrated to Canada from Hong Kong in 1975; when she retired, she replaced her full time work with volunteering. Polly joined a S.U.C.C.E.S.S. women’s club in the Marpole area as a volunteer. She now leads a group of 16 volunteers who devote their time to the Meals on Wheels program, coordinating all of their delivery schedules. These volunteers are part of our larger network of volunteers who deliver over 400 meals a day to clients, who are often isolated seniors, across Vancouver and Richmond.
Polly, pictured at left, with the Honourable Judith Guichon, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia in 2015.
Polly knows that her volunteer role is important, not only because of the hot nutritious meals delivered, but because of the informal safety check each delivery provides. One day she was delivering to an elderly client; he did not answer the door after she rang many times. Polly immediately contacted Shirley, the Chinese Meals on Wheels coordinator at Care BC, as well as the building manager. Shirley contacted the emergency contact on file for the client; the building manager was able to open the door. They found the client had fallen, but was unable to call for assistance himself. They called the police and an ambulance, and the client was taken to hospital. It was a reminder that on rare occasions, a Meals on Wheels delivery can provide much more than a hot nutritious meal and a friendly visit.
Polly sees the value of volunteering for Meals on Wheels first-hand; that’s why she’s continued to volunteer for 11 years. She looks forward to connecting with isolated seniors in the community – people who may not have many other visitors. Polly knows that her volunteer work enriches lives with both nutritious meals and friendly visits, and can even save a life in emergency situations.
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