“It’s my bike helmet–this thing is a rearview mirror.”
“Oh . . . you biked here?”
“Yeah, I bike everywhere.”
“Wow, good for you. Have a nice day!”
And with that, I headed home from my first day delivering meals with Meals On Wheels with a big smile on my face. For anyone who may be unfamiliar with Meals On Wheels, they provide nutritious meals to people who are homebound due to age or disability. It’s a great organization that does important work to help people stay in their homes, and when I heard that they already had one cyclist volunteer delivering meals in Baltimore, and were looking for more, I jumped at the opportunity.
If anything, the whole experience was too easy. I made five deliveries–three in one building, one across the street, and one more just a few blocks away. I rode less than a mile from the pickup to the last delivery. The bags that they lent me fit perfectly inside my grocery panniers, and best of all, all the recipients were home, were able to answer the door, and were extremely friendly–I had a few remark that I was a new face, and ask how often I’d be back. Unfortunately, with my work schedule I can only manage once per month. It was great to be helping folks out in the community, and do a little PR for cyclists in the process.
Choosing to bike instead of drive makes the world a better place: besides reducing pollution, it saves roadspace and significantly reduces the physical danger one poses to other road users. So it makes sense that cyclists would want to volunteer to help those in need–especially if you’re doing something that most people assume would require a car. Delivering meals with Meals On Wheels is an easy way to get out into the community and squeeze a few more miles in during your lunch hour, all while providing an important service to people in need.
If you want to volunteer with Meals On Wheels in Baltimore, contact Liz Galea at firstname.lastname@example.org. Volunteers deliver meals on weekdays between 10:30am and 12:30pm, but the delivery itself will take an hour or less.
Today’s blog post comes from John Stechschulte. Thanks to John for sharing his delivery experience with us! John’s an active member of the Mayor’s Bicycle Advisory Committee & regular bike commuter. Meals on Wheels is a co-sponsor of the B’more Bike Month Challenge.