May 8, 2014

Former Meals on Wheels recipient finds joy in volunteering

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Meals on Wheels volunteer Jerry Call makes a delivery on the "Pink Route" in Urbana, Ill., on March 18, 2014.

Janelle O'Dea/CU-CitizenAccess.org

Meals on Wheels volunteer Jerry Call makes a delivery on the "Pink Route" in Urbana, Ill., on March 18, 2014.

By Janelle O’Dea/ CU-CitizenAccess.org – Meals on Wheels in Champaign-Urbana, Ill., provides hot lunches and sack suppers for a small cost to adult recipients who cannot shop or cook safely, or to those who are debilitated by a physical injury, illness or pregnancy.

Jerry Call was once a recipient of Meals on Wheels, and after recovering from his illness, he began volunteering because he said it gets him out of the house to help people who are in need. Call knows through experience how helpful Meals on Wheels is to people who are unable to prepare their own food. This makes his daily trips all the more meaningful to him.

Call received a 2014 Presidential Volunteer Service Award for his involvement with Meals on Wheels. He said getting the award was nice, but it wasn’t as rewarding as providing meals for those in need.

This project was developed as a part of Charles “Stretch” Ledford’s spring 2014 multimedia journalism class. O’Dea rode with Call on two different delivery routes and interviewed him in his home. For more information about Meals on Wheels, visit Family Service of Champaign County.