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Senior Meals Volunteers at the United Methodist Church in Castro Valley.
Barbara, Margaret, Carol, Kathy and Rev. Shijung Shim

The Senior Meals volunteers at United Methodist Church of Castro Valley are a unique group of women. Some have been volunteering for over 20 years, others just a few months. While a few are retired and some are still active in the workforce, all of them love their volunteer work with Spectrum’s Senior Meals program and look forward to the days they get to serve healthy meals and visit with clients.

Carol has been volunteering the longest, beginning after the former Pastor told the congregation that the community needed to pay more attention to older adults and that the church was going to become a Senior Meals distribution site. Carol was already familiar with Spectrum as a participant in a Fall Prevention exercise class held at the church and so she signed on to help.

“It’s very important to give back to the community, particularly when reflecting about how I’ve been blessed with so much” she shared. Margaret agreed, saying that “volunteerism with the program really fills my heart.” Barbara said, “I love it. I love the people and the seniors are so appreciative.” Kathy echoed those same sentiments and added, “So many people need a helping hand and I have the time, so because I can, I do.”

This extraordinary group of women really does go above and beyond their assigned tasks as volunteers. They decorate the church for every holiday to bring a little cheer into the lives of the clients. Barbara makes sure that every senior receives a card for their birthday. They often supplement the meals with additional healthy snacks or put out extra lemons from someone’s tree that the seniors are free to take.

Not only is their compassion for the clients clear, the group enjoys working together. Carol remarked that all the senior meals volunteers and the Spectrum staff that she interacts with are “very dedicated and want to do what’s right for the clients.” Kathy added that everyone is very conscientious and listens closely to make sure that all the bases are covered.”

Many of the women volunteer their time with other organizations and support various other important causes. Even though they are busy with their own children and grandchildren, each one expressed a common theme: volunteering is rewarding and feels good to be a part of a program that helps so many seniors.