Name: Efrain Lopez
Center: Cherry Blossom Volunteer since July 2020
Q : What made you interested in volunteering with Meals on Wheels People?
A: I’ve always enjoyed volunteering in one way or another. Throughout my career at Nike we had many volunteering opportunities throughout the community; whether it was feeding the homeless through the Blanchet House or cleaning up local parks and spreading bark on trails through SOLVE. For the last several years, most of my volunteering efforts have been at my son’s schools, both grade school and high school. As I was approaching retirement, one of my goals was to find a nonprofit that I could really commit to for the long term. Meals on Wheels People was the most obvious choice because of my mother. She volunteered for Meals on Wheels for 30+ years in Lubbock, Texas, my hometown. She found it so rewarding knowing that she was helping people in need. I recall when she received a special award for her 25th Anniversary. I was so proud of her. Because of her commitment to Meals on Wheels, I was inspired to try to carry on her legacy. My hope is that Meals on Wheels will always be part of my family.
Q: What do you enjoy most about your volunteer experience?
A: For me, it’s knowing that I’m making a real difference in people’s lives. So many of the people we deliver to are homebound or barely able to get out and about. Seeing them in the comfort of their own homes, receiving weekly meals gives me great satisfaction knowing that they don’t have to worry about trying to get to the store or where their next meal is coming from. They’re all so appreciative and gracious.
Q: What inspires you?
A: I’m inspired by all the people at Meals on Wheels People and the kindness. We all share the same passion about feeding our community. I feel like we’re all on the same page on Meals on Wheels People’s’ vision that “No senior will go hungry or experience social isolation.”
Q: What do you like to do when you’re not volunteering?
A: I have teenage twin boys, Parker and Cameron. I enjoy my time with them and the things going on in their daily lives. They, too, have come with me on many Meals on Wheels deliveries. I also enjoy running and working out daily. At Nike, it was almost a “requirement”. In the evenings, my passion is watching TCM Classic movies! Some I can watch over and over. I find the movies extremely calming in such challenging times in our society.
Q: If you could do anything for the rest of your life, what would that be?
A: That’s a toughy. I guess I would have to say traveling the world. I’ve been extremely fortunate enough to have visited many places around the world, but there’s still so much more to see, do and experience. However, I’m not a “roughing it” kind of guy. There’s got to be a great deal of relaxation time!
Thank you, Efrain, for helping us change lives, one meal at a time!