“Delivering for Meals on Wheels is Quick and Easy”
It takes a lot to rattle Meals on Wheels Central Texas volunteer Deb O’Keefe. As one-half of “The Morning X with Jason and Deb” on local radio station 101.5 KROX-FM, nothing seems to faze her during the fast-paced, unscripted, four-hour show that draws thousands of listeners every morning.
But Deb does admit to being a bit uneasy on her very first meal delivery a couple of years ago. “Knocking on that door, I was like ‘what do I say’ even though I had been given all of this instruction at Meals on Wheels (during volunteer orientation); it all went out the window and I was actually nervous. And I wanted to do a good job and I wanted these people to like me, and I thought ‘ooh, I’m going to say the wrong thing’. But then I just knocked on the door and said ‘Meals on Wheels’ and that was it. That began my journey,” she says.
Two-and-a-half years later, that journey continues. Deb delivers our hot, nutritious meals every Tuesday to homebound older adults in East Austin, and also serves as a substitute driver on other days when her schedule permits. As fans of her radio show can attest, Deb is a passionate advocate for the elderly and animals. In fact, her dog, Blue, accompanies her on her routes. “I’m a citizen of the world and it is ours to take care of the people and things that can’t take care of themselves,” she says.
One of her favorite Meals on Wheels memories happened a few months ago. Deb, who is from England, normally travels home for the holidays, but stayed in Austin this past December. “One of the reasons is I wanted to visit one of my clients and just bring her some holiday cheer, a couple of little presents, and just hang out with her for a little bit. And that was amazing, that I had sort of this adoptive grandmother who wouldn’t have had anyone else who would have popped around,” she recalls.
When she shares her volunteer experiences with 101X listeners, she’s quick to stress the simplicity of the experience and the impact that it has: “delivering meals for Meals on Wheels is quick and easy. It’s quick and easy and yet it leaves such a mark.”