Volunteer Stories

Barry Watkins Receives Honourary Hector and Rita Sonier Award at CMOW’s Volunteer Recognition Celebration

Sweet and Sour Chicken Balls with Cantonese Lo Mein Noodles
On September 25, 2014, CMOW celebrated 30 years of caring at their Volunteer Recognition Celebration and AGM by recognizing their volunteers for their years of service. Volunteers enjoyed an evening with great food, entertainment, an interesting historical presentation by the former President of the Historical Society, Heather Broadbent, and an awards ceremony. Long-time volunteer and past CMOW Board President, Barry Watkins, was honoured for his years of service with the agency by being awarded the prestigious Hector and Rita Sonier Award.

The award is given to an outstanding volunteer in memory of Hector Sonier, a founding board member and long-time volunteer with CMOW.

Sweet and Sour Chicken Balls with Cantonese Lo Mein Noodles
Volunteers received years of service pins and local MPP, Sylvia Jones was in attendance, presenting volunteers with scrolls for their dedication to the organization
The following volunteers were thanked for their years of service:

  • Frances Baldesarra, Dale Dee, Brad Hains, Kathy Kovats, Sandra Mascarenhas and Gisela Stellar for five years
  • Carol Ohlers, Margaret Cunning, Karen Thomas, Jane Lyndon, Fiona Meuller and Anne Sylvester for  ten years
  • Nancy Gunn and Scott Jefferies for fifteen years
  • Anna Mazzola and Herb Workman for twenty years
  • Russell Noble and Barry Watkins for thirty years

Sweet and Sour Chicken Balls with Cantonese Lo Mein Noodles
Corporate supporters and volunteers, the Royal Bank Branches, Mars Canada and Scotiabank in Orangeville were also recognized for their commitment to the community.
Recently retired volunteers, John and Anne Green, were also recognized for their combined forty-one years of service!
For more pictures of the event, please click here.

CMOW Volunteers Receive Ontario Volunteer Service Awards

Sweet and Sour Chicken Balls with Cantonese Lo Mein NoodlesCaledon Meals on Wheels Volunteers, Carmen Sisto, Pearl Auer, Mike Carter, Carol Ohlers and Elizabeth Morton were all honoured at the 2014 Ontario Volunteer Service Awards that were held in Mississauga on April 30, 2014, for their contributions and commitment to the agency.
The Ontario Volunteer Service Awards recognize individual volunteers for continuous years of commitment and dedicated service to an organization.

Town of Caledon Recognizes CMOW Volunteers at the Caledon Volunteer and Citizen Achievement Awards

Sweet and Sour Chicken Balls with Cantonese Lo Mein NoodlesCaledon Meals on Wheels Volunteers, Jane Pizale, Joy Croft, Nancy Gunn, Scott Jefferies and Karen Thomas were all recognized at the Town of Caledon Volunteer and Citizen Achievement Awards.
Joy Croft received the Distinguished Citizen Award, which is given to individuals who contributed in a meaningful and significant way to the Caledon Community.
Jane Pizale, Nancy Gunn, Scott Jefferies and Karen Thomas all received the Community and Social Service Award, which recognize individuals whose efforts have made significant impact towards the development and advancement of community and social services such as Meals on Wheels.

CMOW Volunteer, Gary Hall, Recognized as a Hero in the Home

Sweet and Sour Chicken Balls with Cantonese Lo Mein Noodles
On Wednesday, October 30, 2013, our very own Gary Hall was recognized as a Hero in the Home by the Central West Community Care Access Centre at their Heroes in the Home Caregiver Recognition Awards Ceremony which took place in Brampton. The awards ceremony recognizes caregivers in the community who provide care and kindness and allow others to live fulfilling lives despite the limitations of age, illness and disability.

Gary recently retired from the Caledon Meals on Wheels (CMOW) board after thirteen years of service, serving two of those years as our President. He continues to serve on the agency’s governance committee and delivers meals as a volunteer driver. He is also the driving force behind our yearly fundraising calendar, donating his creative photographs and artistic talents to ensure that 100% of the proceeds go directly into CMOW programs and services and not into the production of the calendar..

Gary is a caring and compassionate person who truly believes in giving back to his community. Volunteering is his passion and CMOW is grateful for all the good work that he has done for the organization and the community. 

A Training Session on Life from Caledon Meals on Wheels

Sweet and Sour Chicken Balls with Cantonese Lo Mein Noodles
I’m going to compare it to parenting

You avoid it. It seems like a lot of responsibility. It’ll ruin my weekends (which feel so, so precious when you’re living in your own bubble)
And then suddenly, once I’ve done it, I’m wondering what I’ve been doing with my life?
It isn’t an option. It’s a necessity. And the surprise is, it’s an absolute joy.
A recent Friday afternoon, I spent just over one hour delivering meals with Kim Pridham, the volunteer coordinator for Caledon Meals on Wheels (CMOW), and wow, after one measly hour, it’s surprising how good you can feel about yourself, and how much that one hour can make you think about doing so much more.

Prior to this Friday, volunteering felt like a chore. I’ll be honest. I work a number of different jobs, and I have a young family. I commute home. We just bought a house a few years ago and there is an endless list of chores. It is so easy to justify the cliché statement, I just don’t have the time.

The people I met on Friday will now be my responsibility every second Friday.

Here they were. They have paid taxes, finished careers, raised families, fought wars, built roads, buildings and cars, and taught our children, among so many other things, each, in their own little way, a giant I am generously allowed to stand on the shoulders of.

And there I was, just a few weeks previous, immature and insolent, thinking they didn’t warrant my time.

Well, they don’t warrant my time. I owe it to them.

And I am so grateful to the staff of CMOW for giving me the opportunity.

It’s a very simple thing. I spend my lunch hours picking up food and delivering to a short list of clients who have reached a point in their life that they don’t need daily chores to dominate their time.

And is it so much to ask that some help them with that?

No, it really isn’t. And I’ve got some making up to do.

For privacy reasons, I can’t discuss who my clients were, or where they were from.

But one in particular welcomed me into his home and agreed to a photo, and to be part of the story.

Thank you Jim.

Jim Lawlor is 94. Up until a few years ago, he too was still delivering meals for CMOW.

He put it simply. I just don’t feel that well anymore.

Jim, don’t worry about it.

I understand now what you gave up. How much you cared, and how much joy can come from finding a way to literally show you care. (No more self-pats on the back for a $2 donation at the grocery store, Matthew).

It’s time for Jim, and all of the community members like him to take some time off. They deserve it.

It’s on people like me to pick up the slack, and I’m going to do everything I can to find more ways to show the simple dedication to your community he, and people like him are teaching me. I don’t live in this community, but I feel very much a part of it and I am so humbled to be able to do one thing for a man like you Jim, and all the others who served their community long before I did. Hopefully, one day, I might feel like I’ve paid my dues the way all of you have.

Until then, there’s a particular work to be done to feel that way.

I felt like I was doing something to make others’ lives better, but little did I know, in just one hour, nine people would make my life so much better.

Because of you, I will never avoid this work again.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

And I’ll see you next Friday.



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