John has been a Meals on Wheels Volunteer for the Niles Senior Center since March of 2011. It all started when he noticed volunteers delivering a meal to his elderly neighbor weekdays during the noon hour. There were a number of different people and they all appeared to have regularly scheduled times. His neighbor lived alone and the daily interactions obviously brightened his day.
As his curiosity grew he decided to ask one of the drivers if he could help. The individual told him that he was a volunteer Meals on Wheels driver through the Village of Niles Senior Center, and if he wanted to get involved he should contact Kelly Mickle, the Director of the Senior Center. John made the call and has been a dedicated volunteer ever since. He currently delivers meals 3 times a week and is missed by everyone on his route on the rare day that he can’t be there.
When asked what John’s favorite part about volunteering is, he states “I love giving back to the seniors even though I’m one too. I like giving back to the people that normally wouldn’t get it. I get to meet their family and caregivers, and I enjoy the overall camaraderie. “
John has several memorable moments from his years of delivering meals but one of his favorites is of a husband and wife. Every day when he arrived the wife would be setting the table so she could have a nice lunch with her husband. As the task became more difficult John stepped in to help and visited with both as he put out the place settings.
John loves music, and is a leader and cantor at St. Hillary’s and St. Juliana’s. He also enjoys gardening, bike riding, and spending time and helping out with his grandchildren, Sarah, Rachel, Leah, Jack and Shannon. During the last few years, John has had the opportunity to share his passion of volunteering for the Meals on Wheels program with his grandchildren who have volunteered to ride along and deliver meals with their grandfather.
The Niles Senior Center is honored to spotlight John Dunne as going above and beyond as a volunteer for the Meals on Wheels program. He is always willing to pick up extra routes and help wherever needed. He exemplifies volunteerism and is a gift to the Village of Niles community.