Meals on Wheels: A Family Affair

By Kim Connolly

Originally appeared in October 2011

The Cleveland family  John, Dawn and sons Timothy, Michael and Joshua, ages 6 and under  all volunteer for Meals on Wheels. John started out delivering meals with Timothy (then 2 1/2) as a way to spend quality time with his son. John is currently creating a new software program for Meals on Wheels to help organize deliveries and create maps, track clients and manage volunteers.

Dawn now volunteers with their three boys, driving as a substitute and testing Johns software program and maps. She finds that volunteering for Meals on Wheels as a driver is something you can do with small children. This is something the kids can add value to, she emphasizes. Seeing the boys brings a smile to the clients faces.

Both Dawn and John feel that it is important to expose their children to volunteering as early as possible, but that it is not always easy to do with little ones. This is very do-able, Dawn explains. Most routes range from 6 to 11 addresses, all in the same area, and take about one and a half to two and half hours to complete. As Dawn Grzegorczyk, Meal on Wheels Executive Director observes, The mere presence of these three boys brightens the day for our meal recipients. We wish we had more families like them.

Kim is the Director of Marketing and Communications at the United Way-Thomas Jefferson Area. To explore volunteer opportunities, visit the United Ways Volunteer Center at

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