Thousands of seniors in Forsyth County find that they have to rely on the help of others to be able to remain in their homes, living with dignity—but that does not define their story. Senior Services is proud to launch “Seniors of Forsyth,” a video series that highlights the vibrant history and fascinating life experiences of older adults in Forsyth County, in their own words. Join us each month as we continue this series and profile a new senior participant or volunteer!
Volunteering and helping others seems to nurture Lin Cundiff’s spirit as much as the food she delivers nurtures the bodies of Meals-on-Wheels recipients. Lin has been dedicated to reducing hunger among older adults as a Meals-on-Wheels volunteer for over 30 years. She delivered her first route (with her five-year-old daughter in tow) while living in Tennessee and never looked back. When she moved to Winston-Salem last year, one of the first things she did was to locate the local Meals-on-Wheels program and sign up as a volunteer. It was easy to find because her youngest daughter, Gretchen Duffey, serves as the Meals-on-Wheels volunteer coordinator at Senior Services.
In her own words:
I started working for Meals-on-Wheels in 1986 when my oldest daughter, Meghann, was five years old. We lived in Franklin, Tennessee, and our local church, First Presbyterian, had just developed the Meals-on-Wheels program there. The women in the church made the meals, and a lot of us volunteered to serve. I can remember Meghann and I making cookies at night, just looking forward to our route the next day, and she would also make wonderful pictures to share as well. We had a real personal connectedness with all of our recipients. My youngest daughter, Gretchen, became very, very involved as well. We were just happy as a family that we were able to participate in such a wonderful program.
I moved to Winston-Salem in December of 2017, and I’ve been volunteering with the Meals-on-Wheels program at Senior Services since February. It’s interesting because a lot of the volunteers who serve are also becoming older. I myself just turned 70 in April, and I think it’s a way for us to really connect with our recipients and give them positivity in their lives. I think there is such a need in Winston-Salem.
For me, volunteering for Meals-on-Wheels is something that I look forward to each day, knowing that I’m going out into a neighborhood where I have a regular route—where I can connect with each individual. Showing compassion and care and being able to address each person’s individual needs is a special part of the volunteer experience; and I enjoy knowing that my visit may offer a sense of safety, security and just that human interaction that they need every day.