I am a volunteer for AEOA’s Groceries-To-Go program. I first volunteered for this program when I was a teenager with my mom. I loved doing something special and meaningful together, and loved meeting the clients we served.

For the past year and a half, I have been volunteering for this program again. As a staff member of United Way of Northeastern Minnesota, I became acquainted with the program and made aware of the need in our area because it is a funded agency of our organization. We raise funds in the community to help support organizations providing impactful work in the areas of Helping Children Succeed, Empowering Healthy Lives and Stabilizing Families and Individuals. The Groceries-to-Go program is critically important in our local communities in helping our seniors live independent lives. I’m proud to raise funds on the program’s behalf and wanted to take it a step further by volunteering. Our Executive Director is extremely supportive of my volunteering with the program.

All of the clients that I have delivered to have been wonderful! They are so grateful for the program! When I first started volunteering, I talked to my eight-year-old son about the program and told him about what I was doing and described how I was helping people. One of my clients, “Betty” (not her real name) was getting ready to celebrate her 91st birthday. My son made her a card that I delivered to her with her groceries. She was so excited! She is a fascinating person with a rich history. During the summer, my son volunteered with me. He enjoyed using the list to help find the products we needed. He loved meeting clients that we delivered to – and they loved seeing him and meeting him!

“Betty” recently celebrated her 92nd birthday and I delivered flowers to her with her groceries. My son made a Happy Thanksgiving card for her this year as well. She calls him “her little friend”. We have formed a sweet friendship through Groceries-to-Go, and my son is looking forward to the summer when he can help me out again!

I love knowing that I am helping these local seniors to remain independent. I love getting to know them. The program is incredibly rewarding! I also love that there is flexibility, because I do have a full-time job; I need to deliver early in the mornings most weeks and I am not able to deliver every week due to work commitments.

For as little as 45 minutes per week, you can also volunteer to shop and deliver groceries, while making an enormous impact on our local seniors. If you would like to know more about this volunteer opportunity, please contact Anne at AEOA Senior Services at 218-410-0005.

Elizabeth Kelly

Groceries-To-Go volunteer

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