Church Team Finds Volunteer Experience “Rewarding”
“Our deal is to be a church without walls,” says Janice Pinckard of the congregation at Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church on Bee Cave Road.
Janice and her husband, Ronny, volunteer for us as part of their church’s Meals on Wheels delivery team. Dick Lowke, another member of the Shepherd of the Hills family, organized the group last August. He got the idea after delivering meals with a church friend who volunteered as part of Keller Williams’ corporate team. “I did that with him for years and then just kind of got carried away with the joy I was getting out of it. So I approached a number of people at our church. I called a lot of people and I don’t think I had a single turn down,” he says with a smile.
In all, there are 22 members of the Shepherd of the Hills team. They rotate delivering five different routes every week out of our Prince of Peace distribution site in South Austin. They’re quick to jump in if someone else on the team is unable to deliver on a particular day. “We have people that will say ‘I’m out on vacation. Can someone take my route?’ Almost immediately there’s an answer from someone else saying ‘I can take it.’,” says Ronny. Volunteering their time together has also been a bonding experience for the group. “We had a big potluck dinner recently. We all got together and had a good time and shared a few stories,” says Dick.
Dick believes he and his friends deliver more than meals. “I think the clients enjoy the visit more than the food, even though the food is great. Most of them just don’t have any contact with other people throughout the day. So that’s rewarding,” he says.
Janice sees the whole experience as a perfect way to be ‘a church without walls’: “This is certainly one way for that to be expressed, doing something like this. Reaching out to others is a special part of it.”