Volunteer with Ann Arbor Meals on Wheels

Importance of Volunteers

Volunteers serve a critical role in helping us serve our homebound neighbors by conducting socially-distanced wellness checks and delivering meals, needed household items and toiletries, as well as cards and activity books to brighten the days of our clients. In all we do, Ann Arbor Meals on Wheels seeks to be "more than a meal".

Knowing how important good nutrition and social interaction are to health and well-being, AAMOW staff and volunteers work together to provide nutritiously balanced meals and carry out safety and wellness checks for all of our clients. Volunteers report back any concerns they have to Ann Arbor Meals on Wheels staff who then follow up with the client and their emergency contact(s), as needed. For many of our clients, a volunteer is the only person they see all day.

Volunteer & Donation Opportunities

Meal Delivery Volunteers

Meal delivery volunteers serve a critical role in our program and in the lives of our homebound neighbors. Volunteers choose the day (currently Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday) and frequency (weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, substitute) for volunteering. Meals are picked up at the Ann Arbor Meals on Wheels office at 11:30am, volunteers use their own vehicles to deliver meals, and routes typically take 1-2 hours to complete. We continue to need volunteers to help us deliver more than 700 meals to our homebound neighbors each delivery day. In order to keep our volunteers, clients and staff as safe and healthy as possible in the midst of COVID-19, we have adjusted several components of our daily operations in alignment with public health guidance. More detailed information can be found below and by attending a new volunteer orientation.

Volunteer requirements:

  • Drivers must be 18 years of age (under 18 can volunteer if accompanied by an adult) and kids are welcome
  • Provide your own vehicle for delivering
  • Maintain a valid driver's license (if driving) and vehicle insurance
  • Commit to delivering at least six times over the course of a year
  • Receive a flu shot in order to deliver during flu season
  • Wear a mask throughout your time at the AAMOW office, including in the AAMOW parking lot
  • Utilize the ResponsiBLUE COVID-19 screening tool prior to coming to the office
  • Be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in alignment with Michigan Medicine's policy

Application and Orientation: All prospective meal delivery volunteers must first fill out an online application by clicking on the button below and attend an orientation in order to deliver meals.

White text "Volunteer Application" on dark blue background

Following submission of a volunteer application, applicants will receive an email to sign up for an orientation. All orientations are currently taking place virtually due to COVID-19. Orientations will take 1.5 hours and include a presentation and video scenarios to help prepare you for your first volunteering commitment. There is no obligation to sign up to deliver meals following your attendance at an orientation if you change your mind.

Yard Clean-Up

This volunteer opportunity is currently suspended due to COVID-19. Please check back in the fall for updates.

Handwritten Card Donations

AAMOW welcomes handwritten greeting/encouraging (non-religious) cards to send to our clients with their meal deliveries. Cards can be mailed to the AAMOW office or left in the purple donation bins outside either entrance of the office 8-11 a.m. and 12-4 p.m. on delivery days (Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays).

Personal Care Item Donations

In the midst of the pandemic, AAMOW has received a growing number of requests from clients who are in need of various household and toiletry items as both their support networks and ability to access important supplies decreased. In response, AAMOW has established a personal care items pantry that clients are able to access free of charge, and items are delivered with their meals. Donations of the following items for the pantry are needed.

  • Boxes of tissues
  • Individually wrapped rolls of paper towel
  • Individually wrapped rolls of toilet paper
  • Free and clear liquid laundry detergent
  • Free and clear liquid fabric softener
  • Antibacterial hand soap (minimally scented)
  • Antibacterial dish soap (minimally scented)
  • Antibacterial bar soap (minimally scented)

New/unused household item/toiletry donations can be mailed to the AAMOW office or left in the purple donation bins outside either entrance of our office 8-11 a.m. and 12-4 p.m. on our delivery days (Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays).

Community Engagement Group

The AAMOW Community Engagement Group (CEG) is open to AAMOW clients, volunteers, community members/partners, food providers, family members/friends of clients, caregivers, etc. The CEG has quarterly meetings that serve has a platform for AAMOW to provide updates to our community on current and upcoming programming, services, and events; garner feedback on a variety of topics from our stakeholders; brainstorm ideas together for AAMOW; and more.

Please contact the AAMOW Director, Courtney Vanderlaan, at crvander@med.umich.edu if you are interested in learning more.