Tulsa Meals On Wheels Volunteers Are In Hot Demand


Friday, July 15th 2011, 2:05 pm
By: News On 6


Laura Moss, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- The heat isn't the only issue some Tulsa not-for-profits are facing this summer. Meals on Wheels say they're looking for more volunteers to face the heat to deliver hot meals to shut-ins across Green Country.

"I look forward to it every week," said Joe Cantrell, Meals on Wheels volunteer.

Joe Cantrell volunteers for Meals on Wheels by driving a route he has had for the past eight years.

"I thought, well that will get me out of the house and my wife kept asking me if I didn't' have some place to go," said Joe Cantrell.

Cantrell has 11 people on his drop off list.

He takes the Monday and Friday group while another woman picks up the Wednesday shift.

Betty Stites is on Joe's list. She says she looks forward to his quite knock twice a week.

"Oh yes, I don't want them changing him I'd have to move too," said Betty Stites.

"Not only are our people bringing food, they're bringing friendship," said Cathy Perlingiere, director of volunteers for Meals on Wheels.

Perlingiere says they need a lot more people to step up to the plate. They're down everything from site coordinators, to drivers and to food servers.

"But our main concern is with our recipients," said Cathy Perlingiere.

Recipients like Betty, who like to see familiar faces and count on the six meals, three hot and three frozen, she receives each week.

"That Meals on Wheels is one of the best things that Tulsa ever had going like this," said Betty Stites.

But Meals on Wheels might not be going at all if more volunteers don't sign up.

In the past when drivers were scarce, Monday, Wednesday and Friday service was cut back to just Mondays and Wednesdays.

Something Betty says she doesn't want to have to do ever again.

"That's always the worst when you have to call 10 people and tell them I'm sorry we're not going to be able to bring your food today. That breaks all of our hearts," said Cathy Perlingiere.

If you can help, give Meals on Wheels a call at 918-627-4103 or email them at mowtulsa@atlasok.com.