The Other Side of the Door: Pearl

by Han Smith

Postings |

With the help of volunteers, the Meals-on-Wheels program has been ensuring that older adults in Forsyth County have had access to warm meals and safety checks since 1962. Volunteers have delivered more than seven million meals over the last sixty-one years and are on pace to reach eight million meals by 2025.  Senior Services is grateful for the thousands of volunteers who have given their time to not only deliver nutritious meals but also share meaningful moments of human connection with older people who need them. Meals-on-Wheels volunteers are a diverse group of people, representing practically every ethnic, religious, and economic background that can be found in our community. Some volunteer for short periods, others intermittently, and a very large group have volunteered long-term, with their service spanning decades or more! It’s not uncommon for some of our volunteers to later find themselves in need of the service that they poured so much into.

Pearl is one of those people. Pearl celebrated her 89th birthday this year. She’s proud of the time she spent volunteering as a Meals-on-Wheels volunteer and she’s grateful for the support she receives from the program today. Pearl’s Meals-on-Wheels story illuminates her helpful personality. She actually became a volunteer as a way to help a friend, Norma.

Norma was a Senior Services volunteer and enjoyed delivering meals. However, she lived with a disability that made walking from her car to the participants’ doors to hand deliver the meals difficult. Norma enlisted Pearl for help and Pearl became hooked and the two partnered to support seniors. “We made a great team! Norma would drive and get the meals ready for each house and I would deliver the meal to the recipient,” recalled Pearl. She said that each time they volunteered together was a treat.  “I looked forward to spending time with my friend. We would deliver the meals and then go to lunch and shopping.” They volunteered together until Norma became physically unable to continue, but their time gave them lots of fun experiences, funny stories to tell, and great memories to last a lifetime.

It’s been a while since Pearl stopped volunteering with Meals-on-Wheels. Last year she signed up as a program participant after cooking for herself each day became too difficult a task to manage. Her son, Steve, helped her get enrolled in the program and Pearl is happy to receive the service. She states, “The Meals-on-Wheels program has been extremely helpful. The meals have large portions that are more than I can eat in one sitting.” She says that the food is good and the fact that she doesn’t have to cook it makes it even better.

Pearl also says that not only does the food nourish her body, but the visits from the volunteers nourish her spirit.

“It is always a good day when I get to interact with volunteers and socialize.”

Pearl has a great appreciation for the volunteers who deliver her meals because she has been on the other side of the door herself.


You can continue Pearl’s legacy of service by joining the Senior Services Meals-on-Wheels volunteer family.

Volunteer Today!

Learn more:
Tyler Smith, Volunteer and Community Relations Coordinator
336-721-6961 |

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