This year, Hamilton County Tourism decided to pause the "holiday crazy" to honor the people for whom giving is not only an act, but a lifestyle in Hamilton County. Learn more about Tourism Gives here.
Sometimes people give by going. Traversing Hamilton County to distribute food and clothing can be a time-consuming task, but extremely necessary to people who are unable to "go" themselves.
David Winter from Good Samaritan Network and Chuck Layton from Meals on Wheels are two such roving volunteers. These delightful deliverymen collectively spend hundreds of hours each month prepping items for distribution and getting behind the wheel to deliver to the intended destinations.
Good Samaritan Network (GSN for short), is made up of is 268 agencies, 46 pantries and three free clinics working together to meet the needs of Hamilton County without duplication of service. GSN's Holiday Assistance Distribution initiative, the organization's signature program, annually assists 26,978 people with food, clothing and toys!
Since 2012, David has been a point leader for warehouse, logistics and transport areas for Good Samaritan Network in Fishers.
David is extremely active in week-to-week logistical operations. He not only functions as a transportation team truck driver, but also works with and oversees physical labor in the day-to-day moving and storage requirements. Additionally, he is instrumental in helping coordinate product readiness for the annual Holiday Assistance Distribution program.
"David is an exemplary volunteer," said Nancy Chance, founder and executive director of GSN. "Staff and fellow volunteers agree that his cooperative team attitude makes him a joy to work with."
GSN is gearing up for their annual holiday program, so those wishing to give can do so in one of two ways:
1. Volunteer. Click here to help with GSN's Thanksgiving or Christmas meal prep and distribution.
2. Give. Click here to make a financial contribution to support the thousands of Thanksgiving meals GSN will give this year. A gift of only $100 will provide for 31 meals!
Meals on Wheels of Hamilton County also requires countless hours on the road from helpful volunteers. The organization delivers nutritious meals to elderly, disabled and homebound residents. Clients may be recovering from a hospital stay, an injury or a disabling illness and are always in need of love and kindness.
During his captivity as a prisoner of the Korean War, Chuck Layton pledged to himself that when he returned home, he would seek out opportunities to serve others daily. Chuck continues to help anyone in need more than 60 years later. Chuck began volunteering for Meals on Wheels six years ago at age 80 and now works in the Meals on Wheels office every day without fail. He assists with transporting meals from the kitchen at Riverview Health to the driver's vehicles for delivery. He drives and delivers meals on an "as needed" basis at one of three locations in Hamilton County, as well as trains new drivers.
"When there are open days on our monthly schedule or drivers that cannot deliver at the last minute due to an unforeseen circumstance, Chuck is our ‘go-to-guy,'" said Sandy WeWora, Meals on Wheels of Hamilton County's director of volunteer services. "Chuck embodies the characteristics of kindness and compassion to their fullest measure."
Along with giving his time to Meals on Wheels, Chuck also has volunteered with Disabled American Veterans, Central Indiana Korean Veterans Association, Purple Heart Society, Vet on Vet program and a local nursing home.
To support the mission of Meals on Wheels and the passion of volunteers like Chuck, you can give in three ways:
1. Volunteer. Become a driver or assist with administrative tasks or events. Click here to learn more.
2. Donate. Click here to make a financial contribution to Meals on Wheels.
3. Sponsor-a-Senior. The Sponsor-A-Senior program is an opportunity to subsidize the cost of a nutritious meal and provide a friendly volunteer to check on the well being of a client. For as little as $35 per week, you can provide two healthy meals per day. Click here to learn how.
Thank you for your tireless giving to Hamilton County, David and Chuck!
For long-term support of Hamilton County charitable organizations through the Legacy Fund, click here.
Also, enter to win this week's "get one, give one" prize! Each week there will be give away for a pair of prizes so you can enjoy one prize and give the other away to someone special.