August Volunteer of the Month: Joe Waner

Posted on 08/10/2015

Joe WanerJoe Waner is not only on the Board of Directors for Edmond Mobile Meals but serves in the kitchen with the fifth Friday cooks and is a sub driver each week. Joe contributes greatly to the strategy of Mobile Meals and has been such a great asset to our volunteer team. Learn more about Joe below!

Q: How did you find out about Mobile Meals?
A: Through general knowledge, I knew Mobile Meals to be a prominent service organization in Edmond. My wife, Elizabeth, was scheduled to deliver meals one day but had to cancel due to a prior commitment. I took her place and have been involved ever since.

Q: What do you enjoy most about serving with our organization?
A: First, the clients. They are a varied group of people; old, young, single or married. They live in private homes, apartment buildings, or retirement homes. They are always grateful for their meals, to the point of the delivery being the highlight of the day. Second, the volunteers and staff of Mobile Meals. Interacting with the Mobile Meals family is always a pleasure. They are dedicated and ambitious to serve the clients whether through the kitchen, delivering, or administration.

Q: What is the meal you enjoy the most?
A: The Frito Pie dish always smells delicious and gets the best response from the clients; consequently, my favorite. The cookies or pieces of cake available to drivers are also a great perk.

Q: If you were stranded on an island and could only bring 3 things with you, what would they be?
A: My wife, Elizabeth; a laptop computer with satellite internet connection; the largest and most complex Swiss Army knife that I could find.

Q: Have there been any funny stories while you were working in the kitchen or out delivering?
A: I was delivering to a new location that was on acreage and the road to the house was winding. The gentleman who took the meal was an impressive elderly man who could have homesteaded after the land run; he defined self made and was exactly the kind of person you don’t want to look foolish to. He cautioned me about backing out of the drive way and offered to let me turn around on grass next to his house.
Naturally, I indicated that I could manage nicely, even pointing out my rearview camera in the car. After his mailbox became part of my rear bumper, I walked back to the house to confront a man who now seemed like Clint Eastwood. He was gracious and indicated that he was going to replace the mailbox anyway and I had done him a favor. He would not accept any compensation or help in repairing from me (that showed his wisdom). We have since enjoyed each others’ conversation about mailboxes on subsequent deliveries.

Q: Why do you think it’s important to serve the community you live in?
A: No matter your particular condition in life, there is someone in your community who needs help. By serving your community, you are helping neighbors and making the environment you live in better. It is also more personally rewarding to serve your local community than be lost in the efforts of national organizations.