Volunteer Spotlight: LifeCare Alliance

Julanne Hohbach

This monthly feature focuses on volunteer opportunities for Central Ohio families.

Some volunteer activities are hard for children to appreciate because they provide behind-the-scenes help to people your kids won’t ever meet. If your family wants a more personal touch, LifeCare Alliance has a notable option.

The nonprofit organization has several programs for family volunteers, the biggest of which is Meals-on-Wheels, which delivers lunches to homebound senior citizens. LifeCare Alliance delivers 5,100 lunches on 166 routes each weekday in Franklin and surrounding counties. Volunteers pick up meals at a nearby drop-off point and spend 60 to 90 minutes on a route, either in their community or another of their choosing.

“They can take kids of any age with them,” said Chuck Gehring, the organization’s president and CEO. “The seniors just love seeing the kids, and the kids will get a lot out of it.”

Gehring said the organization has about 31,000 clients and 7,600 active volunteers, many of whom are families. In addition to Meals-on-Wheels, they help at LifeCare Alliance’s Harmon Avenue distribution facility with tasks such as packing meals and assisting in the food pantry that serves cancer and AIDS patients. “We have a lot of parents who come and work with their kids,” he said.

Other ways for families to lend a hand are “adopting” a LifeCare Alliance client by buying and wrapping items on their holiday wish list, or making handmade greeting cards to let seniors know that someone is thinking about them. Students also are welcome to volunteer with the organization to earn service hours for school.

For more information, call the volunteer hotline at 614-444-6325 or go to lifecarealliance.org.