If you’ve delivered meals or been part of a Day of Caring, it’s likely you’ve encountered Tracie Demery, VNA Meals on Wheels’ Community Engagement Supervisor. In fact, throughout her six-year tenure with the organization, she’s touched nearly every facet of the operational side of Meals on Wheels. From coordinating route logistics to delving into the data and analytics of the business, to serving on the technology committee that brought the volunteer app to life and learning the client intake process, Tracie has done it all. “They call me the “Jack of all trades” around here,” Tracie laughs.
Her favorite thing to do; however, is to share the mission of VNA with anyone who will listen. “I’ve always loved to talk to others about our organization, what we do, how important our work is, and how important their contributions can be to our client’s lives,” she says.
Tracie, a San Diego native, moved to Northeast Texas and began her career as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA). She worked in hospitals and long-term care facilities and saw the direct health effects of patients who were not able to stay in their homes and age with dignity and respect. She knows the difference Meals on Wheels and our volunteers make in the lives of the clients. “The work we do touches my heart,” she says.
The highlight of Tracie’s day is delivering meals and visiting with clients. Her face lights up as she talks about a recent visit with Meals on Wheels client, Ms. Virginia. “What is most remarkable about Virginia,” she says, “is the love and care provided by her neighbors. When I left, three different neighbors came out to ask me if I was ‘checking in on Ms. Virginia’.”
Tracie says she’s learned that it truly does take a village to care for those who are most vulnerable in our communities and understands how quickly and easily volunteers can become attached to certain clients. “I know what it feels like when our volunteers feel a certain way about a client, or a route and I’ll do whatever I can to ensure that the volunteer can stay in contact with a particular person.”
Today, Tracie’s plate is full with coordinating Day of Caring events with various groups, organizations, and companies. Now that volunteering in person is more widely encouraged, her goal is to engage more camps, schools, teams, faith-based organizations, and corporate partners to become a part of the VNA Meals on Wheels family.
Tracie knows she’s found her “family” at VNA Meals on Wheels. She says, “This is what I’m supposed to be doing”.
Would you like to become a Meals on Wheels volunteer? Learn more here.