Volunteer Stories
MIFA Volunteers share their experiences

MIFA volunteers come from all around the city each day to serve our Meals on Wheels senior clients. Hear from new timers and regulars, working and retired, young and old! 

Our vision is uniting the community through service and our volunteers help us make that possible. In this blog series, we will share volunteer stories, experiences, and more. If you have a story that you want to share please email hwalker@mifa.org

Outstanding Ombudsman Volunteer: Carolyn Kent-Beck

The MIFA community wants to honor Carolyn Kent-Beck for her volunteer service to MIFA in our Ombudsman program. Carolyn has been a Volunteer Ombudsman Representative for 24 years. Her desire and drive to help those who may not be able to help themselves is her driving force to being a true advocate to residents in long-term care facilities. Carolyn was assigned to Graceland Nursing and Rehabilitation where her work has been impactful and life changing for many residents. Her professional exp... Read More
at 28 September 2022

Jonathan Large Inspires a New Generation to Serve

“To me, it’s all highlights,” says Jonathan Large when asked his favorite part of being a MIFA Meals on Wheels volunteer. A well-known leader in the Memphis area, Jonathan has been an instructor at Memphis University School since 2008, where he teaches American History, helps coach the trap shooting team, and assists with the Civic Service Club. This is where his worlds at MUS and MIFA collide. Jonathan is known at MIFA for bringing his students with him to volunteer a... Read More
at 28 September 2022

Steve Freno's 10 Years of Service

Steve Freno is more than just a volunteer. He consistently goes above and beyond for the 35 senior clients on route 12. How many people drive to Memphis during a power outage to check on their senior clients? Well, Steve does. “I drove up during a blackout. MIFA was closed due to the storm, but I had my route memorized,” Steve recalls. “So, I drove to Kroger and started filling up bags. I took them to my people. I knew if the electricity was out for two or three days, then ... Read More

Dr. Tappan and Eureka True Vine Volunteers

He came with a friend, he left on a mission.  That’s how Dr. Frederick D. Tappan, Sr. and the good people of Eureka True Vine Baptist Church became MIFA Meals on Wheels volunteers. He was so moved by the experience of delivering meals that he immediately called and asked how he and his congregation could deliver meals as well.   What adds passion and purpose to this ministry, for the dedicated six-member team of Eureka True Vine, is that their meal delive... Read More

Parikh Family Continues Legacy of Service

We believe all MIFA volunteers are exceptional for their service to our community. But some families make a commitment to our programs which lasts for generations, and we are grateful for the opportunity to recognize one family’s legacy of service. Many of you may remember Prabhakar Parikh, who along with his wife Rohini, joyfully delivered meals for 25 years, until he passed away in 2018. Prabhakar moved to America from India in 1961 and quickly became a proud Memphian, and that pride... Read More

Tyler Lindsey: MIFA Holiday Cards

This year’s holiday card was created for MIFA by Tyler Lindsey, a graphic designer and adjunct professor at the University of Memphis. Tyler has fond memories of riding along with his mom as she delivered MIFA Meals on Wheels, but designing the holiday card is one of his first interactions with MIFA as an adult. “Just looking at the website made me want to have the interpersonal experience,” he said. “I thought, ‘I want to be a part of this.’ I ... Read More

Christmas Day Meals: The Greatest Gift with Rev. Marvin Mims

When Rev. Marvin Mims, Sr., pastor of St. Mark Baptist Church, organized a new nonprofit called BOLD (Brothers Offering Leadership Development) Brothers to mentor young African American males in September 2001, his search for service opportunities quickly led him to MIFA. “We heard about the great work MIFA was doing in our city,” he says, “and decided to get involved.” The group started with Saturday morning deliveries. Soon the holidays rolled around, along with a n... Read More

Christmas Day Meals: Fondest Memories for the Reismans

Jan and Marc Reisman started delivering Christmas Day Meals in the early '90s. Randa Rosenblum, a longtime MIFA volunteer, invited them, “and the rest is history!” A holiday tradition at MIFA since 1984, Christmas Day Meals allows volunteers to deliver special holiday meals—along with gifts and some holiday cheer—to senior Meals on Wheels recipients across the community. “It is fun seeing people we know who also volunteer year after year," the Rei... Read More

Be a Helper with Meals on Wheels: Steve Boscarino

Steve Boscarino has been delivering Meals on Wheels for the past six months since his retirement from the Veterans Administration Hospital. After seeing veterans have meals delivered while he was doing homecare as a physical therapist, he wanted to direct his time to volunteering at MIFA. “When I retired, I was looking for somewhere where I could be useful. Somewhere where I could apply myself,” Steve says. “So, I read a little bit more about MIFA and realized there was an ... Read More