Since first signing on as a YMOW volunteer in 1995, Bob Nowlan has delivered thousands of meals, met hundreds of people, made dozens of friends and taken countless bags of garbage to the curb.
“I don’t know how much garbage I’ve taken out over the years,” said Bob, but he does know that each of those small favors helped make someone’s day a little easier.
Prior to the pandemic, YMOW could count on Bob to report for duty every Monday morning. When YMOW called on longtime volunteers to help during COVID-19, Bob answered the call. He now delivers meals every Monday and Friday, taking extra precautions with each delivery to protect himself and those on the other side of the door.
“It’s a relief knowing that we will always see Bob every Monday and Friday and the clients are in good hands,” said Jessica Cichowlas, volunteer coordinator. Jessica said Bob, YMOW’s Volunteer of the Quarter for Q4 2020, is among the longest serving and most dedicated YMOW volunteers.
Bob’s dedication to serving older adults extends far beyond his YMOW route. He has been a nursing home volunteer for 45 years and spends time visiting patients at local hospitals.
He said he considers it a blessing to spend his retirement caring for his neighbors.
“I thank Jesus for giving me the opportunity to meet and share with all these wonderful people,” Bob said.
Along with volunteering, Bob loves to grow vegetables. Every summer, he shares his bounty with the YMOW clients on his route.
“They love my tomatoes. They’re very grateful,” Bob said.
At 70 years old, the lifelong Ypsi resident and 11-year retiree is older than some of the people he serves. He credits his daily trips to the gym for helping him stay healthy, but he thinks that his role as volunteer has helped, too.
“The more you give, the more you’ll get back,” he said.