Lou Calka Sr. of Glen Burnie
Volunteer Work: Mr. Calka volunteers for Meals on Wheels as a visitor and route chairman, and for the Red Cross as a driver, delivering blood from county donation sites to a Red Cross facility on Reisterstown Road.
About the volunteer: Mr. Calka, a Glen Burnie resident for 40 years and member of Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church in Glen Burnie, is a retired traffic engineer for the federal government and a retired transportation officer for the Air Force reserve.
Volunteer's comments: "I've been retired for nine years and been doing volunteer work for the past eight years. I knew before I retired I wanted to do volunteer work. I got into Meals on Wheels and found it to be very rewarding.
"We deliver a hot meal, usually a meat and two vegetables and a snack such as cereal and a fruit to eat later in the evening, and it's not always just the elderly who get the meals. If someone of any age can't get around for one reason or another, they can get meals delivered, but they only use the service for a little while."
"I hear a lot of nice comments, the people are so glad to have this. They really appreciate it."
"I can have someone say 'thank you,' and that means more to me then getting paid money."
"To deliver the meals you have a driver and a visitor. I'm a visitor and spend a little time talking with the people if they want to. I have a couple of people who say they don't even care if they are brought a meal, they just like to see someone or talk with someone."
"As a route chairman, I schedule someone to fill in to deliver the meals or fill in myself if I have to."
"Here in this area [Glen Burnie], the food is prepared at a central kitchen in Highlandtown and delivered to the Pascal Senior Center where it's put together. It's kind of like an assembly line. We have other people helping at the center such as packers."
"We always need volunteers. But I've found that it must be within a person to stick with it. A person really needs to want to do it."
About the program: Meals on Wheels serves about 230 clients in the county, and about 90 of those are in the Glen Burnie area. About 50 volunteers a day are needed to drive 18 routes and pack food.
For information on any aspect of Meals on Wheels, call 263-5444.
"Volunteer Spotlight" is compiled by Kevin Harrison. To recommend someone, call the Anne Arundel Bureau, 315-8911, any time or fax information to 315-8916 or mail it to: The Sun for Anne Arundel, 8131 Ritchie Highway, Pasadena 21122.