Why I Volunteer: Patricia Gurney
After retiring from her nearly 30-year career as a teacher, Patricia Gurney decided to use her newfound free time to volunteer. When she and her husband David learned about FeedMore WNY’s Meals on Wheels program, they knew it would provide the perfect opportunity to help their community.
“We felt that we had the time and the ability to give back, so we signed up,” Patricia said.
That was more than 20 years ago, but Patricia has no plans of slowing down. She currently volunteers as a home-delivered meal volunteer twice per week, delivering nutritious meals to homebound neighbors residing in Hamburg and Lackawanna.
Volunteering as a husband-and-wife team offered a great bonding opportunity for Patricia and David. When David passed away in 2011, volunteering provided Patricia with a comforting routine to keep her active.
Patricia’s dedication to volunteering for the FeedMore WNY’s Meals on Wheels program did not waver when the pandemic hit the Western New York region. In fact, Patricia felt that her homebound and oftentimes isolated neighbors needed her help now more than ever.
“You know they are looking forward to you coming – not just for the meals, but to be able to talk to someone for a few minutes,” she said.
Patricia added that the individuals whom she delivers meals to have been extremely grateful for the continued support.
While Patricia said that she has never felt scared for her health while volunteering during the pandemic, she admitted that delivering meals during COVID-19 has been challenging because of volunteer shortages. She strongly encouraged her community members who have the time and who are in good health to sign up to become a home-delivered meal volunteer for FeedMore WNY. “I think it is a service that we have to provide to people,” she said. “It’s something I look forward to. I really enjoy it,” she added.
Patricia also recommends her peers ages 55 and older to join the Erie County RSVP program, of which she also is a member. The program offers benefits such as mileage reimbursements and supplemental accident and liability insurance.
More information about Erie County RSVP can be found by calling (716) 858-7548.
volunteer with our home-delivered meals program
Our home-delivered meals program serves homebound individuals and those living with disabilities in Erie and Niagara counties. Volunteering for one lunch hour makes a difference in the lives of those we serve.