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Volunteers use their wheels to deliver meals

LINC Home Meals volunteers, who spend their time, energy and gas money helping the less fortunate, were honored with a luncheon held at the James W. Warren Citizens Center Tuesday.
“Real commitment doesn’t happen quite as often as it used to, so we certainly appreciate what you do,” the Rev. Dale Pederson, a member of the LINC Ministry Group, told the crowd.
The volunteers serve 250 clients throughout Lincoln County, delivering them hot meals once a day.
The program is a part of Christian Ministry of Lincoln County and is in definite need of more volunteers.
“If someone can give me an hour a month, they can touch so many lives,” said Mitzi Williams, LINC Home Meals coordinator.
And while more volunteers are needed for the ministry, those currently involved are dedicated. Despite this year’s skyrocketing gas prices, no home meal went undelivered.
Williams feared the worst every time gas prices climbed, thinking “$2.50? The whole thing is going to fall apart!” Luckily, she was wrong.
“Nobody quit on me,” she said. “Nobody.”
Volunteers — who range in age from home-schooled students to the elderly — have many reasons for sticking with the service.
Helen James, 86, has been volunteering for LINC Home Meals for over 20 years.
“You can’t give me a reason to quit,” she said. “As long as there’s a need, I’m going to do it.”
Lucille Upton, 86, has also logged in more than 20 years as a volunteer. She has no plans to slow down her service.
“I think it’s a help to the people who get it, and I think someday I might need the service,” she said.
Volunteering not only helps those receiving the service, it also helps retirees participating.
“People who retire and don’t do anything don’t live long,” James said.
Younger volunteers benefit from the ministry as well. Faith Ingle and her daughter, Christiana, have made many friends on their route. One of their favorites recently passed away. She used to call them both “doll” and invited them in for refreshments.
Many other volunteers also have clients who stand out. John and Mary Loomis have one woman who stands waiting at her door every time they visit.
“She knows when I’m coming,” John Loomis said.
“She’s got two dogs that are waiting too,” said Mary Loomis.
It’s personal connections and a need to serve that keep volunteers committed.
“I think you owe something to the community just for the privilege of living here,” said Don Ballard, a volunteer. “(Volunteering) keeps you from becoming selfish and self-centered.”
The Christian Ministry organized the luncheon to thank such volunteers for their service. Awards were given out for years of service and members of the Lincoln County Home Educators gave out donated lunches from Bar-B-Que King. Awards were donated by Katie Wood.
“They make my job easy,” said Susan Brymer, executive director of Christian Ministry, on volunteers. “They’re so caring and so involved.”
For more information contact Christian Ministry of Lincoln County at (704) 732-6647.
by Sarah Grano

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