Senior volunteer of the year makes a difference

Posted by Bryan Henry  -  bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Virginia Hale is loading up for another hot lunch run for the homebound, loading up to deliver meal number 14,000 and something. Hale got the idea after hearing a talk about Meals on Wheels a few years ago.

"I thought this is something I could do after retiring from my business. I've been dong it since 1983," Hale said.

And ever since Hale has personally hand-delivered hot, balanced meals to those who are unable to prepare their own food.

As a volunteer for the Montgomery Area Council on Aging, Hale is still shocked and pleasantly surprised to learn the Alabama Gerontological Society would recognize her as the state's senior volunteer of the year.

"I was overwhelmed. My daughter said, 'Momma.. you're not taking this seriously!' It's a rush and if for some reason I can't do it on a Friday, I'll call and apologize," said Hale.

There's no apologizing on this day.

"I just put it in the box and ring the doorbell," said Hale.

Hale drops off one meal at one home and stops at another house. This time someone is home and his name is Forrest Bishop. Mr. Bishop told WSFA 12 News he has no words to express his gratitude to a volunteer who always remembers.

"I'm unable to fix it and cook it. My wife and I are both handicapped," said Bishop.

Virginia Hale is 84 years old and is still going strong. Hale says she has no plans to give it up.

"Not as long as the good Lord lets me be able to do this," said Hale.

At 84 Virginia Hale could easily sit back and retire. That's out of the question because so many she says depend on her.

"So many people are alone in this city," Hale said.

Once a week Virginia Hale delivers a warm cooked meal and perhaps something else; a healthy dose of good cheer, satisfying both the tummy and the soul.

Volunteers like Hale deliver meals to more than 300 homebound seniors 5-days a week. For many this is their only nutritious meal of the day.

Hale received an acrylic plaque at the awards banquet.

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