Linc Home Meals celebrated its 25th anniversary Tuesday with a banquet, which honored some very special guests â€“ the volunteers.
â€œWe could not do this job without volunteers,â€ said Susan Brymer, director of Christian Ministry of Lincoln County. â€œChristian Ministry has a very small staff, and you are the heart of the ministry.â€
Paul and Jeneva Engle and Theo Cochrane have all volunteered for the meal delivery program since its inception, and they were on hand to receive crystal crosses with a nameplate stating â€œLinc 25 Years.â€
The Engles started volunteering because their reverend asked if they would.
â€œWe told him weâ€™d try, and weâ€™ve been at it ever since,â€ Paul Engle said.
Volunteers with the ministry, which is under the umbrella of Christian Ministry of Lincoln County, either help pack nutritious lunches at Carolinas Medical Center-Lincoln or deliver the meals to houses.
â€œI enjoy doing it,â€ said Cochrane. â€œYou meet a lot of people, and you realize how lucky you are. Maybe someone will deliver to me one day.â€
And while the program has a dedicated group of volunteers, the numbers are dwindling.
â€œI need drivers,â€ said Mitzi Williams, Linc coordinator. â€œReally bad.â€
Few new volunteers signed up this year. Volunteers are asked to give an hour of their time once a month.
Gas prices are likely keeping would-be volunteers away. The fact many retirees are now working part-time jobs rather than volunteering also doesnâ€™t help.
Williams encourages all those interested in the program to give it a try.
â€œLinc Meals helps the community. It helps people stay out of the nursing home,â€ she said. â€œItâ€™s just a few years down the road that all of us will be in the same situation of needing help like them.â€
Those volunteers who attended the banquet were served by Lincoln Home Educatorsâ€™ teen group and serenaded by Gaye Howard and Rosemary Ball.
Linc Home Meals would like to thank Melinda Houser, BBQ King, Licnoln County Home Educators and the Katie Wood Corporation.
by Sarah Grano