My husband, Ryan, and I joined Zion in 2012, as we were looking for a church where we could raise a family. We loved the traditional sermons and the positive presence Zion has in the community. I enjoy seeing all the volunteer opportunities in the Sunday bulletin and, pregnant at the time, was super excited to finally have the time to give back.
That was the first year I did Meals on Wheels. I signed up to do a delivery every weekday that November. It was so easy, just smile and hand people their meals! They would see my big belly, we would have a short chat about kids, and I would be on my way.
Then my first son was born in 2013. As June came around, I knew I wanted to continue but would not be able to carry both an infant and a cooler into homes. That was when I decided to take advantage of my surviving grandparents, and told them I needed a babysitter to stay in the car with my son as I did the deliveries. We delivered two days a week that month. It would usually be Grandpa Roy in the back seat of the car, making silly noises for my son for 45 minutes before he would fall asleep. My grandparents, not being very familiar with Buffalo, loved to see the neighborhoods and guess where we were. After our first few trips, I would hear how Grandpa had waited outside at the right time but wrong day to deliver meals with us. Every time we came for a visit he would ask when he needed to babysit again.
Fast forward to today, I have a 2 year old that loves to go get Grandpa Roy and ‘help’ mommy deliver while his little brother stays in the car with grandpa. The people tell him how cute he is as he hands them a piece of bread and some even ask for a hug. I felt in a rush one time and left him in the car with Grandpa, and the lady was disappointed to not see my little helper with me! That is what made me realize that this experience is bigger than me now. As November rolls into view again, I know that I will be busy with a number of personal things, but my name will still be on that delivery route because some little boys get to bond with great grandpa, an old man gets to be a useful babysitter to a mother in need, and a mother gets to be a positive role model for her children. And I am thankful.