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Frank Ansell

May 19, 2022

I had a high pressure job till I retired a few years ago. One morning I woke up, retired, no emails and no phone calls to respond to. I decided to become a volunteer and that’s how I began driving for Meals on Wheels (MOW).

I was given a runner to go with me on my routes. The runner is the person who goes and delivers the food to the client. My runner is a young guy and we have formed a wonderful friendship over time. Thanks to MOW our very different worlds collided and it has made MOW very special to me.

When we first met, I thought he was mandated by the court to be there; I couldn’t understand why this young guy was volunteering! He’d ask me all these questions and I even thought he was a secret reporter trying to get the dirt on me. He laughed that off but then he told me he had a criminal record, but he was trying to be a better person.

Two people with completely different backgrounds, it sounds like we could never have been friends, but there we were in a car for 2 hours a week and suddenly we were sharing things that helped both of us grow as people. If it wasn’t for MOW, we would probably never have spoken. We’re great friends now, we share our opinions and views, give each other advice, despite our difference in ages and cultures. One day, his mother, who I had never met before, came up to me and thanked me. She said her son listened to me and took my advice. I was so surprised, my own kids don’t listen to me!

It is an honour to be a volunteer. Our MOW clients, wait at their windows looking for our car, wanting to talk to you and tell you stories of their week. I feel empathy for our clients, which is why I do what I do.

Today was an interesting day for us. One of our clients, had been down in the dumps last week, so we decided to bring her a little flower plant to cheer her up. When we gave it to her, she tried to refuse it, but we said we just wanted to make her happy. And she cried and cried after that, saying nobody had given her plants in a long time. And she thanked us and she said, “You know, last week was my birthday, that’s why I was so upset and down because it was my birthday and I turned 100. I am so happy that you gave me this. Thank you. Thank you.”

If you don’t volunteer you miss out on something special. It’s a day I look forward to because it builds me up and it’s such a good feeling to know someone else is benefiting because of me.

I hope to be remembered as someone who touched people’s lives, that I brought a little sunshine into their lives. I hope that I meant something to them, because all of them have meant something to me.