Anyone with a driver’s license and a vehicle can volunteer to deliver meals to senior and disabled Abilene citizens in place of attending Chapel.
Meals on Wheels Plus Inc. is a nonprofit organization in need of drivers to deliver lunches between 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. five days a week. According to the Meals on Wheels Web site, routes consist of 12 to 16 deliveries of hot, nutritious meals, and volunteers can deliver meals up to five times a week, according to the volunteer’s negotiated schedule.
ACU offers students one Chapel credit per delivery route.
For Grady Hughes, a senior political science major from Winnsboro, making deliveries has been something to look forward to while he has been in school.
“It is a great opportunity to give back in Abilene and meet great people who genuinely appreciate what we did for them,” Hughes said.
Hughes said he preferred his Meals on Wheels route to attending Chapel because it has a spiritual impact on others and not just himself.
“Routes take about 45 minutes to an hour,” Hughes said. “But the half hour spent in Chapel just does not compare to the enjoyment of helping others.”
A regular route schedule would put a volunteer on the road for as many as five days a week, delivering to the same people every days.Â This allows drivers to get to know recipients and positively impact their lives.
Volunteers do not necessarily have to sign up for a regular route schedule. As a driver substitute, people can come in to pick up a single day route. To Hughes’ knowledge, there are abandoned routes everyday that can be filled by a substitute.
If students volunteer only occasionally, they must bring to the Chapel Office a signed form provided by Meals on Wheels each time they serve. Full semester exemptions must be preapproved, and daily signed forms must be submitted before the last day of Chapel.
The Abilene Meals on Wheels building is located at 717 N. 10th St., near Treadaway Boulevard, and more information on its mission and history can be found at mealsonwheelsplus.com.