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Meals on Wheels volunteer clocks in 600 hours to giving back

Written by Chronicle Staff. Posted in Community News & People in the News

Published on April 11, 2018 with No Comments

Doris Galinksi has dedicated the last five years to giving back. Last year, she volunteered 600 hours at Meals on Wheels in Merrillville. This year, Galinski is being awarded the Gold Presidential Service Award at MOW’s Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon to kick off the National Volunteer Month of April.

Six years ago, Galinski lost her husband around the same time she lost her job. She found herself wondering what the next chapter of her life would be like with such drastic changes.

“I’ve worked since I was eleven. I had to fill that void,” Galinski said. “Seven months after my husband died, I was looking for something to do.”

Galinski’s niece invited her to a volunteer fair in 2013 that ultimately lead her to meet Joan Vith, MOW Volunteer Manager.

“I went around the room and came across Joan,” said Galinski. “She said ‘come see what you’d like to do.’”

Meals on Wheels helped Galinski break the monotony and find her purpose. When she was working full-time, she recalled that chores like grocery shopping were saved for the weekend. Before she started volunteering, she found herself putting them off and not getting them done.

“To get up every day, to shower, to get dressed and do my makeup, those are things that were second nature to me,” she said, referring to when she was working. Volunteering has given Galinski her day-to-day routine back that she was so comfortable with before.

When she started at MOW, Galinski was hesitant about driving the delivery routes due to her unfamiliarity with the area. She asked Vith if she could begin with office work and Vith was more than happy to oblige. Now, Galinski will often assist Vith with her routes.

“Doris is a Godsend. Whatever she does, she does it with a good attitude.” Vith said. She joked that MOW would not have Galinski if she had not lost her job. “She’s doing the same thing here that she was let go for all those years ago. We’re lucky to have her.”

Galinski said she didn’t realize she spent well over 600 hours volunteering. She said meeting new volunteers and visiting the clients motivates her to continue giving back.

“I just want to help people,” she said. “Seeing what you actually do to help people, that’s enough inspiration. You don’t do it to be recognized.”

For her 5thconsecutive year, Vith is organizing the Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon to recognize the volunteers at MOW. She said the event has been going on for many years before she began coordinating.

Vith said the luncheon is a great opportunity to recognize the volunteers for the hard work they put in to keep Meals on wheels running, from answering phones to handing the meals to their clients.

“You never realize how important it is to give back,” she said. “I am so fortunate we can still make a difference.”

For more information on how you can make a difference with Meals on Wheels, contact the organization at 219-756-3663 or visit their Merrillville location at 8446 Virginia Street, Merrillville, Ind.

 

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