United Way October Volunteer Spotlight: Jim Scott
For the City Times
Submitted by Angela Loucks, Volunteer Center Director
When Jim and his wife moved to south Wood County in 2007 – to be closer to her family – they knew right away they wanted to fill their time with volunteer work. They started out volunteering at the Lowell Center for the AARP Tax Preparation Program as client facilitators.
They welcomed taxpayers and organized their paperwork. But Jim saw people going in and out of the Centralia Center with big blue bags and inquired about what they were doing. It turns out they were Meals on Wheels volunteers through ADRC-CW.
“I needed something to do after tax season anyway, so I stopped into the ADRC office and asked for information. Now, I do this all year round.” said Scott.
Jim is a volunteer driver for the program on Wednesdays and Thursdays – and sometimes he covers other routes when needed. He makes sure the meal count matches what’s on his delivery route sheet and double checks the delivery sequence.
“My goal is to have everything delivered by noon,” said Scott.
However, it is so much more than just a meal delivery service.
“We try to attune ourselves to recognizing when clients are experiencing a problem – Alzheimer’s, dementia or falls,” said Scott. “If you see something wrong, you want to report it back to the office so they can do a welfare check. You might be the only person these people see all day long, so giving them a few extra minutes of personal attention can make a difference.”
And there’s another reason why the program is so important:
“The clients are in a position of disadvantage so we help them stay independent, and maintain their pride and dignity,” said Scott. “These people were hard-working taxpayers before and now they are depending on us. We need to make sure they are taken care of.”
“Volunteering is a form of self-actualization,” said Scott. “My compensation is the enjoyment and satisfaction I get from giving back. Life is episodic, like a book. You work and have a family and have no free time. When you get to a point when you have time available, you want to return that energy to the community while you’re still able. We were lucky enough to be successful in our business, and I want to give back.”
The Meals on Wheels program is always looking for volunteers, especially in the fall and winter because many of their volunteers are “snowbirds.” To find out how you can volunteer for this – or any – program, call the Volunteer Center at 715-421-0390 or visit www.volunteerinnerwisc.org
Quick Facts About Jim Scott
- Nominating Agency: Aging and Disability Resource Center of Central Wisconsin (ADRC-CW)
- Residence: Grand Rapids
- Family: Jim lives with his wife Ann and two Jack Russell Terriers named Spud and Snow
- Occupation: a retired entrepreneur. Jim owned an Ace Hardware outside of Houston, Texas. Jim also freelanced for automobile racing magazines.
- Hobbies and interests: Motor sports, photography and journalism.