For Arlo Bartholomew of Salinas Valley, California, volunteering for Meals on Wheels feels like coming home. The CVS/pharmacy technician first participated as a Meals on Wheels volunteer more than 40 years ago in Traverse City, Michigan. Following a move to a new state and a new full time job, Arlo left her volunteer position, but not for good.
After nearly 30 years, Arlo rediscovered the satisfaction that comes from being a Meals on Wheels volunteer when, in 2004, she and her granddaughter decided to give back to the community together. Now, she continues to deliver nutritious meals each Tuesday to the homes of seniors and disabled adults who are unable to shop or cook for themselves.
Arlo finds her weekly service immensely rewarding. "Each Tuesday, I'm reminded that I may be the only person these folks see that day or week," she says. "Knowing that I'm making a difference in even one person's life is a wonderful feeling for me."
Each week, Arlo delivers meals to up to 12 people, using her own car and gasoline. She applied for and received a CVS Caremark Volunteer Challenge Grant, a program offered to CVS Caremark colleagues to help support the nonprofits where they regularly volunteer. The grant, awarded directly to Meals on Wheels, helped the organization continue to provide meals to those in need.
Although her volunteer work takes up a considerable amount of Arlo's time and resources, she believes she gains a lot from the experience.
"My reward is seeing the faces, the smiles and the thankfulness of each person I have contact with that day," says Arlo.
CVS Caremark Volunteer Challenge Grants are made possible by the CVS Caremark Charitable Trust and provide financial support to hundreds of nonprofits each year.