Monday, September 15, 2008

Meals on Wheels Pet Program Launch & Community

Today was the first day of the Albuquerque Meals on Wheels pet program. With twenty participating households, four volunteers, and a very gracious sponsorship by Enchantment Pet Spa and Wellness brand pet food, the program eased into its first day of hopefully a long-term program.

We definitely have our improvement points. Routes can be made more efficient and reorganized to minimize excessive miles incurred by volunteers. This is a reasonable pain point not only because people are spending their personal time delivering, but with the cost of gas these days it is a significant expense too. Adding more in depth notes on routes regarding what houses look like / community names / visual cues will help future volunteers navigate routes faster. And I now have a need to stir up additional volunteers - had one quit today and a no show that will hopefully follow through tomorrow.

On my route today, it sunk in how small this program is in comparison to the Meals on Wheels clients' other needs. Delivering a package of pet food to a woman who is homebound with little human interaction on an oxygen tank that takes several minutes to make it to the door is humbling at a core level. This program isn't much and doesn't address a lot of bigger problems that cause these people to worry and stress, but hopefully it is a little bit of hope in their week. Or at least it feeds their comfort and hope - literally, by providing food for their furry companions.

I feel embarrassed at how detached I have become from local hunger and poverty issues through getting wrapped up in my own comfortable life. Basic needs for a lot of locals, and people nationally / worldwide, are minimally met. I hope I/we can do our part to find creative ways to channel energy and skill sets to help contribute in a small way to hopefully making a few local lives a little happier / easier.

Be thankful for what you've got.

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