(New Braunfels) -- Do you own a car and have an hour of your time to give? If so, you are exactly the kind of person needed to volunteer to help deliver meals to homebound senior citizens in the Seguin area.
The Comal County Senior Citizens Foundation recently took over the local Meals on Wheels program after it was dropped by the Community Council of South Central Texas.
Bonnie Surratt, grant writer and funding developer for the foundation, says they are eager to provide the meals, but they can't complete the task, because they don't have enough volunteer drivers here in Seguin and Guadalupe County.
"The senior center here in New Braunfels took over the Meals on Wheels Programs for Guadalupe, Karnes and Wilson Counties, because the company that was doing it could no longer do it anymore. We have the Meals on Wheels Program for the homebound individuals. Then some cities have what we call congregate locations to where we prepare meals and bring it to a site such as a church and the food is prepared and the seniors that are able to go to those locations on their own, they can go there and get those meals for no charge. The homebound are people that can not drive. There are certain qualifications for them to get the meals and we have to have volunteers for after we prepare the meal, to drive these routes and deliver the meals to these homebound people," said Surratt.
Surratt says St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in Seguin has stepped up to serve as the distribution hub for the meals, and the volunteer drivers would pick up the meals at that location. She says it's a fairly simple process, but finding volunteer drivers here is key to the entire operation.
"We have a church that's agreed to be the hub. So we would deliver the meals to that church every day. Then, we have five routes each day that have these people where the food needs to be delivered. So we would need five volunteers a day. Each route consist of probably about an hour round trip. Some routes may have 10 or 12 stops, some routes may have three or four. It just depends on how far apart the addresses and stuff are. So the volunteers would pick up these coolers from the church. They have real simple instructions along with names, addresses, how to get there, what each person is to be delivered say one meal or maybe the person can't have meal. So it'll say one meal and no meal or something like that. They drive around, deliver the meals to the people, then they come back to the church and drop off the coolers. Then there's paperwork that they have to sign, that they've completed -- that they delivered the meals and the paperwork is left there with the coolers. That comes back to the senior center here in New Braunfels," said Surratt.
The foundation hopes to generate a large pool of volunteers. Surratt says the more volunteers they have, the more they can lessen the burden on each individual volunteer. Again, she reminds potential volunteers that this takes only one hour each time. It's not the kind of thing that will consume your entire day.
"Understandably some people may not want to do one every day, but they might want to help once or twice a week, that's fine. We probably need about 100 volunteers to cover it all," said Surratt.
There's no pay, of course, but Surratt says the time commitment isn't high, and the benefit it great. She says you will be using your own vehicle so there are some small costs involved.
"They provide their vehicle and they provide their gas and their time. Help out these people that really need this food and a way to get it to them," said
The foundation has made it easy for you to sign up. Surratt says they wanted to make sure they made it simple for people to get signed up.
"We already have left some paperwork at the church which is St. Andrews in Seguin or they can call or email, myself or Cathy the volunteer coordinator here. We can get them signed up over the phone or we can get the paperwork to them. It's not very involved paperwork. We need them to fill out a little bit of information and we need a copy of the driver's license and their insurance for driving," said Surratt.
Stop by St. Andrew's to get the forms, or you can call the foundation at 830-629-4547, and ask for Volunteer Coordinator Kathy Villareal or for Surratt. You can also send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or to email@example.com.