Around 11 a.m. every weekday, rain or shine, three or four volunteers enter the kitchen doors at Heartland Continuing Care, and emerge moments later carrying stacks of insulated trays, coolers of milk and juice, and notebooks directing them on a treasure hunt throughout Portales.
The treasures in this case are the local recipients of Meals on Wheels, and for the last 22 years one of the most dedicated of those treasure hunters has been MOW director Fayrene Powers.
Powers decided to hang up her volunteer hat this week. At 83, she's not yet ready to sign herself up for home-delivered meals, but needs some time to take care of projects she's postponed.
She's confident others will step up to ensure that the long-running all-volunteer program continues. Last year a few hundred good citizens contributed 1,300 hours to deliver 4,099 hot, nutritionally-balanced meals around Portales.
While $2.50 may not guarantee a gourmet entree, one longtime recipient told me recently, "Any meal I don't have to make myself is a wonderful meal!"
Do you have an occasional hour to share, or need this service yourself? Call Glenn McCoy at 356-4771 or Loretta Carley at 356-8162, and they'll get you signed up.
Happy trails, Fayrene. Thanks for all the miles and all the meals.
Betty Williamson thinks that "volunteer" is one of the most beautiful words in the English language. You may contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.