A Year in the Making | Meet Glenn

by Nancy Bruce, Engagement Assistant

Postings |

“It’s what the world is about; it’s what we’re supposed to do.” Glenn Clairmont has been involved in many non-profit organizations as an administrator and worked thirty years as a high school counselor, but never in hands-on service to older adults until he volunteered to deliver Meals-on-Wheels in Winston-Salem. Before moving to North Carolina, he took care of his mother in upstate New York and connected her with Meals-on-Wheels, which she grew to appreciate. As a newcomer to Winston-Salem almost three years ago, Glenn thought delivering meals would help him become familiar with the area. He started slowly, delivering once a week to ten homes. It soon became clear to Glenn that the simple act of providing someone with a nutritious meal was more than just a meal.

“You do not understand the need until you knock on someone’s door and see someone who can’t prepare a meal or afford a meal.”

He discovered that people need to be seen, to be known, to be loved, and to maintain dignity despite their situations. For older adults who have trouble getting out of the house, the tasty meals delivered five days a week by a committed volunteer also provide a chance to share smiles and have a little social interaction. For participants, the power of this short exchange may brighten their whole day.

And sometimes they need more! Glenn has fixed TVs, cable, phones, and doors; vacuumed floors; and fed cats while out on his routes. There have also been medical emergencies, one of which required a call to 911, breaking a window, and having EMTs transport the participant to the hospital. Glenn choked up recalling one of the many sweet, powerful moments; right before Christmas, he was delivering an emergency food box to a woman who could not get out of her chair. At her request, he placed the box next to her and they opened it together, appreciating all the goodies inside. She grabbed his hand and giggled, “You’re Santa Claus!”

What does Glenn get out of volunteering for Meals-on-Wheels? “Joy!”, he said. Seeing the smiles of gratitude and appreciation is his reward, but he doesn’t look for rewards. He is content knowing that this simple daily act has a profound impact on an older adult who might otherwise not eat well or have visitors.

His enthusiasm for the program, and for the people who receive the meals he delivers, is apparent. Early in the summer of 2023, he set a unique challenge for himself. It occurred to him that he had volunteered to deliver to most of the 51 hot meal routes that come out of our Shorefair office, plus four more routes from satellite locations, and was approaching 2,000 meals delivered. He set a goal of delivering each one of the Senior Services Meals-on-Wheels routes out of the Shorefair office before the year ended! With the help of the Meals-on-Wheels staff, he accomplished the amazing feat of delivering about 2,500 meals along all of the meal delivery routes by December 28, 2023!

Glenn doesn’t plan to stop challenging himself. His next goal is to deliver 5,000 meals. Glenn says, “The need is great in our community, yet the process is so simple and takes very little time. I encourage anyone with a desire to serve this wonderful population to consider volunteering with any of the programs offered by Senior Services.”

You can make a difference. Join our volunteer team today!


Learn more:
Tyler Smith, Volunteer and Community Relations Coordinator
336-721-6961 | tsmith@seniorservicesinc.org .

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