When the world around him began to shut down in March 2020, Ronald Youngblood wanted a way to help his community cope with a strange new reality. A friend suggested he help deliver meals for Ypsilanti Meals on Wheels, and Ronald jumped right on board.
Ronald’s volunteer training was a little more intense than in usual times. But after learning about social distancing, proper mask use and other steps required to protect YMOW clients, volunteers and staff, he began the task of delivering meals to some of his most vulnerable neighbors.
Ronald said the people he visits, from a distance, during his deliveries are anxious about getting sick and suffering from isolation. He tries to do what he can to lighten their mood and to let them know he cares. He said people are fearful, not only for themselves, but for him.
“They’re really worried about me,” he said.
It’s hard to get to know people at a distance and from behind a mask, but Ronald said the people on his YMOW route know him when he knocks on the door. And they’re grateful not only for the food, but for a friendly greeting from someone who cares.
YMOW Volunteer Coordinator Rolanda Logan said Ronald stepped up when YMOW needed him most.
“During an extreme time of need, Ronald offered to help YMOW deliver meals and he has continued to help us. We are so grateful to have him on our volunteer team,” Logan said.
Helping his community is just part of who he is, Ronald said.
“You’ve got to be the change you want to see in the world,” he said. “If there’s a need somewhere, I always try to fill it. It gives me purpose.”