A big impact in a small town.
Over the last year, the realities of COVID-19 have presented challenging obstacles to our communities and the individuals who selflessly serve them. As closures and lockdowns have continued to stay in place, charities like Meals on Wheels have been struggling to retain volunteers to keep their food and delivery services running.
For Michel Audet, Service Technician in Dalhousie, New Brunswick, this devastating fact sparked him to take action. In October of 2020, Michel decided to reach out to one of the local Meals on Wheels coordinators to see if he and some of his technician colleagues would be able to volunteer their time to help deliver meals. Since the local program is based out of the Dalhousie Nursing Home, it had been especially difficult for them to keep a steady influx of volunteers. Overcome with emotion, the coordinators welcomed the Rogers team with open arms.
Rallying six additional fellow Rogers technicians, the team began volunteering with Meals on Wheels, dedicating every Tuesday and Thursday to picking up and delivering meals to folks in the community, all while respecting COVID-19 safety precautions.
Day in and day out, the team came together to make sure community members in need were receiving their meals.
Michel recalls one particular Tuesday when a massive snowstorm forced technicians off the roads, one member of the team and fellow volunteer, James Young, stopped at nothing to ensure that members of the community received their meal deliveries by the end of the day. He parked his Rogers van at home and made the delivery from his personal truck. “It was a normal solution for him,” Michel said. “That’s what makes me proud.”
As time went on, their dedication to this service not only ensured that those who needed the meals most were supported, but it also provided some much-needed relief to veteran volunteers who had been running the service with limited support. To show their appreciation for Michel and his team, the Dalhousie Nursing Home and Meals on Wheels volunteers came together to create something special for them.
One day in February, Michel and fellow volunteer, Robert Richard, were on their way to enter the nursing home and pick up their weekly meal deliveries when they were greeted outside with a t-shirt signed by staff, volunteers and community members – thanking them for their outstanding work and dedication to Meals on Wheels.
Looking up at the building, Michel and Robert spotted some of the residents of the nursing home cheering them on from inside their rooms. It left them speechless.
“This experience has definitely given us something to be proud of, and something we can celebrate together when the pandemic is over,” Michel said. “We said we would do it and we did – and we’re still doing it. Every Tuesday and Thursday.”
Stepping up for our communities with the help of people like Michel.
One of the ways Rogers is helping to make a better Canada.