WHEN Louise Veith volunteered to help out at Ipswich Meals On Wheels service 36 years ago, she continued on a dedicated family tradition.
Both her mother and father, Majorie and Arthur, had freely given their time to the important community organisation for years before her.
Louise started out as one of the many kitchen hands helping prepare the many meals they sent out every day.
As the community grew so did the demand on MOW and Louise was asked to put down the dishwashing cloth and chopping board and instead join the administration team.
“That meant the office team of one was now two and as the years have progressed, we now have around seven who help out with the books, answering phones and doing whatever is needed,” Louise said.
“I joined the organisation because I was proud of what my parents were doing with MOW, I looked up to them and admired their dedication.
“I still mainly do the bookwork now, but occasionally may need to go out and deliver meals and I enjoy doing that.”
Last week one of the meals she dropped off was to 94 year old Doris Hansen of Silkstone.
Doris greeted Louise with a big smile and a thank you when she called in and spoke about how having Meals on Wheels allowed her to continue living alone.
“My daughter cooks me up meals, but this supplements what she does, especially when she goes on a holiday,” Doris said.
It was clear when Louise arrived that the MOW service to many is much more than just freshly cooked nutritious meals.
The volunteers also provide social interaction and at the same time they are doing welfare checks with the hundreds of clients they now look after.
Tomorrow (Friday) Louise will put her calculator away at the MOW centre in 9 South Street and instead join her husband Darryl who retired a few years ago to take off on some road tripping around Australia.
She said she wasn’t saying goodbye to the organisation altogether as she will still turn up as a volunteer.
MOW manager Bec Dakin said Louise will be walking away with many fond memories and one of her favourites will surely be the Volunteer Christmas Party.
“The staff would put on a show and Jane would narrate the story and staff would act it out, no rehearsals, many laughs from everyone,” she said.