- Written by Lisa Middents, Development Manager
- Published: 18 February 2018
Reminding ourselves and the community why Meals on Wheels matters is an important part of getting ready for the 2018 Walkathon in April. I am grateful to John and Donna Shippee for allowing me to interview them recently when they got their meal delivery from their volunteer driver, Alan Coutinho.
Donna leans forward and welcomes me right into her cozy living room and makes a place for me to sit on her couch decorated with colorful stuffed kitties and bunnies. “I really enjoy the Meals on Wheels. Those that are working and put them together,” says Donna, “I wish them all the best because they’ve done a beautiful job.”
When I ask what it might be like if they couldn’t get Meals on Wheels, Donna replies, “Well, we would probably manage, but very, very tight.”
John agrees that without the program, they would “eat a lot of sandwiches.”
If any couple deserves the healthy variety of a hot meal and the security of a friendly wellness check by their volunteer driver, John and Donna certainly do. John donated many hours of his time volunteering as a Meals on Wheels driver, and Donna used to accompany him on his route. John also served for 14 years in the military, some army, some air force, and spent a year in combat in Korea from December 1950-51, “the coldest winter they had over there,” he says. “And so I’m proud that I could make [it] through that and get back and enjoy the United States again.” He’s careful to make the point that Donna is no stranger to service. She volunteered at the Buckland-Shelburne regional school cafeteria and at the VA hospital in Leeds.