Organization: Hollywood Senior Multipurpose Center
Activity: Meal Deliveries to Shut-in Seniors
One of things I absolutely love about volunteering is that you get to meet people that ordinarily you wouldn’t. That was the case today when I assisted in delivering meals to homebound senior citizens in Hollywood. I was paired up with a man named Benito and he was fantastic. You can hear a lot about him in my video for today, but I feel so blessed to have had the chance to spend 4 or 5 hours with him. He shared some of his insights and wisdom, which he has a lot of considering that he is a 74-year-old veteran. In all likelihood our paths will not cross again, but I will take Benito’s spirit with me moving forward.
Benito also made today a bit easier for me as he coached me not only on how to deliver the meals properly, but how to deal with each elderly person and the conditions in which they live. Don’t get me wrong, not all shut-ins live in squaller, but some certainly do and that is tough to see. Many friends have said to me that today’s service was more than they could have handled, as they would be too emotional. I completely get that and it was an emotional day. But, I guess since I have lived through the illnesses of many family members, I am able to be in such situations. And, I recall once as a kid delivering meals to shut-ins from my church with my dad, so I guess I’ve been exposed from an early age — thanks, dad.
Doing the deliveries today, I could tell with nearly every person I served how grateful they were, not for the food, but for the brief interaction with another human being. For some of the clients, I was the only other person they would interact with the entire day. So, I had a choice, I could be visibly emotional and rushed or I could be empathetic and kind. I think you know which I opted for and let me tell you the smiles and words of thanks I received were priceless. It really was my pleasure and certainly a humbling experience.
For much more on today, check out the video — you’ll hear more about Benito, the clients and some Hollywood history.