Name: Susie Akers
Title: Executive Director
Organization: Meals on Wheels of Amarillo
How did you become interested in this work?
I’ve been working in the non-profit field for about 25 years in various capacities, mostly as a professional fundraiser and as a grantor with a foundation. I know that I can make a difference in people’s lives and I want to do what I can to help make that possible. The target population for MOW is so vulnerable and they need our help – they are after all, the GREATEST generation.
What drives your passion?
Feeding and checking on homebound seniors is a critical need in our community. It is so rewarding, knowing that with our help, seniors can remain in their homes longer where they want to be – happier and healthier. I’m thrilled to be a part of that mission.
Does your organization offfer any other programs besides meal delivery?
No, our only program is the home delivered meals.
What is the best advice you’ve ever recieved?
“Be kind to everyone you meet.” and “Keep moving.”
What is the biggest challenge in your work?
Our biggest challenge is recruiting volunteers. We have the BEST volunteers in the world but we need more of them. We seem to always have a waiting list, so with more volunteers, we could serve more clients.
Was there a client, volunteer, or poignant moment in your work that has had a great impact on you?
We have a charter volunteer that has been delivering for us for 45 years, which is as long as Meals on Wheels of Amarillo has been in existence – since 1971. What may be even more amazing is that she is 91 years old! Her husband delivers for us also after he retired and he has been volunteering for us for 35 years and he is also 91 years old! I love their spirit of giving and serving. They are such an inspiration – I hope to be just like them when I grow up.