Sharon Rogers has been deeply involved with Meals on Wheels for many years. Along with having served as a board member, she’s on the Meals on Wheels speakers bureau—a group put together to spread the word about the organization’s mission at various companies and events. A passionate and energetic speaker, she is using skills perfected from a long and diverse career as a writer, speaker, advocate, and educator.
Sharon has been connected to Meals on Wheels since her youth. As a church secretary in the early seventies, Sharon’s mother helped convince her pastor to start a meal delivery program for various members of the community. This program then merged with other church groups with the same mission, and eventually coalesced into the Meals on Wheels of Albuquerque we know today.
“A great way to volunteer,” Sharon says, “is to go with a friend.” She has been driving the same route for 15 years alongside her best friend, and often with her grandchildren. They always try to leave early, and arrange the routes in order to maximize their time with each of the clients.
“You get to meet the coolest people.” Sharon is constantly fascinated by their stories. One of her clients, for instance, raised dogs for the Iditarod races. There’s another who, as a teenager, abandoned her suburban life to become a Harvey Girl in the late days of the Wild West.
Another of her favorite clients contracted MRSA, an antibiotic-resistant infection, in New Orleans while helping victims of Hurricane Katrina. To Sharon, this shows the diversity of her client’s situations, and how people come to rely on Meals on Wheels for many different reasons, not simply old age, and so often through no fault of their own. She lamented that in our society, the recipients of these meals are written off as poor and old, and are typically forgotten.
She wants people to understand that, “Everyone benefits when we help each other,” and that, “this is the big secret: You get back more than you give.”
When not immersed in her volunteer work, Sharon is a member of the Albuquerque Accordion Club. She was convinced to pick up the instrument at a young age by her mother, who told her, “You’ll be popular at parties.” She’s also a long-time board member of the Better Business Bureau, and is soon to retire from teaching English.