Every Thursday for nearly a decade, Dawn Clinton calls dozens of seniors in the Federal Way community.
She asks how they are, trades stories and takes their next week orders for Sound Generations Meals on Wheels.
“They’re so appreciative,” Clinton said of the clients. “They pick up the phone and say, ‘hi Dawn!’”
Clinton’s aunt, who is now 100 years old, lives in Minnesota and when she received Meals on Wheels, “that was the big highlight of her week, the visit from her Meals on Wheels driver,” Clinton said.
Seeing the impact on her own family member inspired Clinton to begin her volunteering in August 2012. Clinton, a Federal Way resident, is the Mirror’s Hometown Hero for the month of November.
For older generations, memories are a prized possession, Clinton said.
“They’re willing to share and I’m willing to hear them,” she said. Along with mitigating some struggles seniors face, such as isolation or not getting a nutritious meal, Clinton said: “If we can help out in that way, then that’s what we’re glad to do.”
The team spirit among volunteers also inspires her volunteering, she said.
Each week, Clinton and another volunteer call over 20 seniors in the Federal Way area to take their order for the following week. She also helps coordinate deliveries for any of the seven delivery routes in Federal Way.
In 2020, Sound Generations Meals on Wheels program served 2,497 people throughout King County and delivered 480,682 meals, said Melissa Pallanes, program manager. The Federal Way site, which operates out of the Federal Way Community Center, has 85 active participants and 20 volunteers.
Pallanes, who nominated Clinton as Hometown Hero, said the community is a better place because of Clinton.
“She’s such a warm and friendly person. I know people look forward to her calls and being able to chat with her,” Pallanes said.
“It takes a lot to show up every single Thursday for almost 10 years,” Pallanes said. “It’s volunteers like her that allow nonprofits to do this work in the community … It absolutely cannot be done without people like her.”
Sound Generations is looking for more volunteers for the Federal Way site. Specifically, the organization needs a new volunteer site coordinator and another backup delivery driver for Thursday mornings.
For more details, visit soundgenerations.org/our-programs/food-security/meals-on-wheels/volunteer/.