Although Zach has only been volunteering with Meals on Wheels for a short time, he has quickly made a huge impact on our organization and our clients. Since October 2017, Zach has been volunteering in our kitchen, all day, each Wednesday. He also volunteers at one of our pantry’s, Camelot Woods, on the third Wednesday of each month, helping clients shop and stock up on food items.
Zach is originally from Weyauwega, Wisconsin, a small town 30 minutes south of Green Bay, but moved to Michigan two years ago for his job at Kesslers Diamonds here in Grandville. Zach graduated from Fox Valley Technical College with a degree in business management and when Kesslers announced they were opening a new store in Grandville, Zach moved for the opportunity. He loves his job with Kesslers, and loves the freedom he has to use his Wednesdays to give back and volunteer, something he grew up doing. When he was young in Wisconsin, his grandparents owned a shop and he was always helping them out. About eight years ago, he also started a walk for MS Awareness in Wisconsin. And along with that, Zach is on the board for an organization that plans snowmobile races each year where all the money raised goes into the local youth groups. Zach has always had that desire to give back and volunteer, he says, “volunteering and doing something different totally takes you to a different perspective or mindset and you see how much bigger the world is than just you.” When he’s not volunteering, Zach is spending time at Lake Michigan, kayaking and boating and spending time with his family and friends.
When helping out in the Meals on Wheels kitchen, Zach is always asking questions, wanting to educate himself. He says, “if you understand something you are more appreciative and more drawn to give your time and effort.” He enjoys everyone he works with in the kitchen, he says he looks forward to coming in every week and he just wants to do his best, make a difference and have fun too. The kitchen staff can always count on Zach to be up for any challenge or task at hand. Melissa Ivy, Food Operations Supervisor is so grateful for Zach’s time, as he is “an amazing help in the Home Delivered Meal Room each week.”
The same appreciation is evident at the Camelot Woods Pantry. Camelot Woods is a residential facility where many low-income refugee seniors reside. These seniors have little access to healthy food, so Meals on Wheels Western Michigan decided to open a fresh food pantry for the seniors. When we first opened this pantry in 2017, it was a bit of a struggle because of the language barrier. Pantry Manager, Danielle Simmons says, “We didn’t have the volunteer support in the beginning and it was very difficult to operate. Fortunately, Zach heard about our pantry and came to volunteer each month. He has been a blessing for us. The pantry serves around 100 seniors in just 2 hours at this location. There is a great deal of preparation involved from unloading the truck to setting up the tables for food distribution. Zach has been extremely helpful in this process. He also guides and assists the clients while shopping, even though many of the clients do not speak English. He makes everyone feel comfortable, and they appreciate his help!” Zach enjoys serving the clients directly because you can tell it is appreciated, that the people served need this service and you see that through the smiles on their faces when they come in, “It fills my heart to be able to do this,” Zach says.
We are so thankful for Zach’s commitment to our program and so grateful to have him as a part of our team. We appreciate him, and others like him who give so generously of their time to reach homebound seniors in our community. Thank you, Zach!