Meals On Wheels Couple Brings A Groove to Their Deliveries
COLUMBIA- The Columbia Meals On Wheel program has been in Columbia for 38 years, and Ed and Judy Kaiser have been volunteering for four years. They come to every Wednesday to deliver meals to homebound seniors, but they bring a zest and style all their own to the shift.
Ed Kaiser says he and his wife, "stir things up" on Wednesdays. A fellow volunteer says "Wednesdays are great because we all get our T-Shirts and it's just like an old family get together."
After about an hour or so of morning coffee and friendly banter, they pack up and get into Ed's "cop magnet," his brand new white Mercedes C300, and listen to techno.
"I like the beat," says Kaiser.
As for the name "cop magnet?"
"Well, a Wisconsin State Trooper liked it, and about three months ago I made a contribution to the state of Wisconsin in the Form of a 'deposit," says Kaiser.
The two enjoy the people they meet. "We have a ball doing it, not only at the beginning of the thing were we all meet and wait for the meals to be placed in the coolers, but the clients, which I don't like to use that word, but the clients are usually very receptive. They're happy to see you, they're greatly for what you've done, and you're providing a service, and it's kind of fun," says Ed Kaiser.
Judy agrees. "Knowing that I can deliver these meals to people that I know can't get out and about , knowing that you can do a service to them is just a good feeling."
Meals On Wheels Director Marcia Walker says the clients get something out of it too. "For many of the people we deliver meals to, the only person that they see is the Meals On Wheels driver. That's the only interaction, that's the fist time they've talked that day," says Walker.
The Heart of Missouri United Way has been a partners with Meals On Wheels for almost as long as the program has been in Columbia.
"It's two-fold, we provide the funding, we partner sometimes to provide volunteers but we're meeting a couple of different needs: Number one keeping them independent , number two we're helping to provide nutritious food fo rfolks who often wouldn't get it otherwise," says Timothy Rich, Executive Director at Heart of Missouri, United Way.
The Kaisers have been volunteering for four years, and with the amount of fun they have, who knows how long they can go.