Wednesdays Won’t Be the Same
As a rule, every Wednesday for the last 15 ½ years you would see Henry Marvin in the Meals-on-Wheels pick-up room packing his cooler and heading out to deliver meals on the Brushy Creek route, which has been his “territory” all this time. Given that the average number of stops on that route is 13, it is more than likely that Henry has knocked on doors and rung doorbells more than 10,000 times over the course of his years as a volunteer.
When it is said of Meals-on-Wheels that the meal nourishes the body and the visit nourishes the soul, it is because volunteers like Henry get to know and care about the men and women on their routes—and often family members and caregivers, as well. Henry says Meals-on-Wheels has given him the opportunity to meet people that he otherwise might not have had the pleasure of knowing. “Sometimes there’s some sort of connection, and we become friends,” he said.
As an example, he became known as “grandpa” to the granddaughter of one meal recipient. He met her, along with her mother and grandmother, about 14 years ago. The granddaughter was 4 at the time. Now he carries a photo of her as a high school senior in his wallet. When the girl’s mother, who had been a widow when he first met the family, remarried several years after getting to know Henry, she asked him for his blessing, which he gladly offered. Henry and the family remain close, but this is not an isolated instance, as he can share many, many stories about how his life has intersected with the lives of people on his route and how the lives of each have been changed for the better.
Henry is aware of the need among the members of Forsyth County’s older adult population and sees Meals-on-Wheels as an opportunity to do something positive. Often he’s gone above and beyond his role delivering meals and stepped in when, during his visits, he observed a particular something that needed to be done that he knew he could handle. He says he’s had the good fortune to be able to “perform favors” that he wouldn’t have known about or had a chance to help with if not for Meals-on-Wheels.
Wednesdays in the pick-up room will feel different in the days to come, now that Henry has announced his retirement from delivering for Meals-on-Wheels, effective November 22. Thank you, Henry, for your dedicated volunteer service to the community’s older adults! They will miss seeing you at their front doors, meal in hand, and we shall miss seeing you in the pick-up room each week.
“Every morning at a certain time,” Henry said, “my prayer is, ‘Lord, let me make a difference today.’ And sometimes you do; and sometimes you might, but you have no idea that you did.” Without a doubt, Henry, through your years of delivering meals to older adults in need in our community, you touched countless lives and you truly made a difference.
Again, thank you, Henry, and congratulations on a job well done!