Lucky & Blessed to Volunteer

By Phyllis Rose, Freelance Writer, Editor, Senior Services Volunteer

Cathie Davids of Battle Creek may be 91, but she’s actively involved in serving her community through volunteering.  Three days a week, she drives for Meals on Wheels, delivering food to those in need. She started delivering meals after her husband, Eugene, passed away and she needed something to do.

“I enjoy getting out and meeting people and doing things,” she said. “It makes me realize how blessed I am to be so healthy and I don’t have to depend on somebody to feed me.”

Over the years, she’s become friends with some of her Meals on Wheels recipients, visiting with them even after they are no longer on her route because she wants to keep up with them and see how they are doing.

“We have one lady with multiple sclerosis and they took her off our route and put her on someone else’s,” she said. “We go to visit her. I have a 99-year old lady in a nursing home. I like to go visit her. They feel like family almost.”

In this age of corona virus, the Meals on Wheels volunteers wear rubber gloves if they have to go inside a home and they always have hand sanitizer in the car.  “We have a couple that’s pretty much confined to the house,” she said. “It’s easier for us to open the door, walk into the house, set the meal down on the table and go back out.”

The hand sanitizer also comes in handy if the people have pets and you stop to pet the animal, she said. “They are kind of hurt if you don’t acknowledge their dog or cat,” she said.

Davids also volunteers for the Charitable Union, a local nonprofit in Calhoun County that provides clothing and bedding to those in need. She sews children’s quilts for the agency. “They help with clothes for the kids when it’s time to go back to school,” she said. “They make sure kids have the clothing they need so they don’t go to school in rags and be embarrassed.”

For seniors who are considering volunteering, Davids encourages them to do so. “They should just think how lucky they are to get out and do something,” she said. “It helps them as well. It gets you off your own troubles and you realize how lucky and how blessed you are.”

Outside of volunteering, Davids has an active life in other areas. She attends a weekly Bible study and then goes out to lunch with the group. Every Saturday, she goes to lunch with her children and grandkids, something she’s missing during the restaurant shutdown.

A native of Pennsylvania, Davids came to Michigan when her husband was stationed at Fort Custer. She has three children, four grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

Davids joined RSVP – Your Invitation to Volunteer in 2015. She was one of the first Meals on Wheels volunteers in Battle Creek.

RSVP – Your Invitation to Volunteer is a program of Senior Services of Southwest Michigan.  Membership is free.  RSVP offers placement assistance and benefits for people age 55 and better to volunteer.  Many opportunities in Kalamazoo County and a few in Calhoun County.  Volunteers are needed with Meals on Wheels, Kalamazoo Loaves & Fishes, Volunteers 4 Seniors medical rides, Mentor Academic Success tutors and mentors, Medicare Medicaid Assistance Program (MMAP), Senior Services Home Repair, and more. Regular, flexible schedules available. Contact RSVP at 269-382-0515, or click here to complete our online application.