Ron & Heather Dick have been married for 30 years and have lived in Wright County all their lives. Ron works as a welder, and Heather is working in the deli at Coborn’s in Buffalo while studying for her A.A.S. degree in the Medical Administrative Assistant program at Hennepin Technical College in Brooklyn Park.
They had two young children when they first visited Zion over twenty years ago. Services were being held in the Buffalo Junior High (now Discovery) auditorium while construction of Zion’s current facility was in progress.
On that first visit they met Pastor Ed Blair, who remembered their names the next time they attended services, and then continued to greet them each week and remember their names. The sense of welcome and belonging they felt helped them decide to make Zion their church home.
They first volunteered with the Meals on Wheels program because they felt a duty to volunteer together as a family and set a good example for their children.
We didn’t have a lot of time to commit, but we wanted to show them that you could still do something, even if it’s small.
That first Meals on Wheels experience was a bit of an adventure …
I remember the first time we delivered meals; we were completely lost. We had lived in Buffalo for many years, but who really looks at street signs? When I think back, I have to laugh because I think it took us an hour and a half to deliver a couple of meals. The people were so grateful and endearing; they weren’t upset at all that it took us so long. Once you do a route the first time, it is so easy; you don’t even need directions so you can just enjoy the delivering.
But, they were surprised at how much they really did enjoy it.
Getting involved with Meals on Wheels changed our mindset about volunteering. We now understand what they mean when they say that, “You will get more out of volunteering than you give.”
Of course, things have changed in the last twenty or so years. Not only do new drivers now have the benefit of GPS and smart phones, but new drivers now have the option of being paired with an experienced driver the first time they serve.
Ron and Heather’s children are grown now (Jennifer, 28, Katelyn, 24, and Jacob, 22), but Ron and Heather continue their involvement with Meals on Wheels and hope to be delivering meals for years to come.
Although they have delivered meals to many different people over the years and may not know them personally, they still feel a sense of being involved with those they deliver to. They also feel a connection to others who deliver meals.
I will see a face in church that I have seen deliver meals and we will smile at each other because of what we have done together. If you are looking for something to do as a family without a lot of time commitment, Meals on Wheels is perfect. It is a great way to set an example for your children to give of themselves, and a lot of the elderly love to see the kids delivering. Spend an hour of your time riding around doing a good thing by dropping off a meal and saying ‘Hi.’ I guarantee you will get more out of it than you give.
While Meals on Wheels is their favorite ministry at Zion, they also enjoy volunteering in a variety of ways with the Harvest of Hands event to raise money for world hunger.
They have also helped in food drives, taught Sunday school, and helped with the Lutefisk Supper. This July they will be taking part in the Duluth mission trip with Pastor Luke.
When they aren’t busy at Zion, they enjoy watching their oldest daughter, Jennifer, compete with the Buffalo Dojo Karate school, going to summer farm markets, antique shops, and the annual Arts & Crafts Festival in downtown Buffalo.