For Ric Wahl, retirement opened the door to pursuing his passion for volunteer work. As Treasurer, Member of the Board of Directors, and one of the lead cooks at North Area Meals on Wheels (NAMOW), Ric can often be found in the kitchen preparing 200+ balanced and nutritious meals for seniors. As a dedicated volunteer for the past four years, Ric is known as one of the driving forces behind the organization’s success.
Ric’s passion for helping out those in need dates back to his childhood. Growing up, Ric was close with his grandparents and helped out at a farm they owned in the Baltimore area. Ric’s grandparents often helped out the elderly who were less fortunate than them. Today, whenever Ric sees a thankful client smiling back at him, he knows that his grandparents are smiling too.
Beginning his volunteer work after he semi-retired from his job, Ric says, “I needed something to do that would help make an impact on my community.”
Ric is considered to be a sous chef, cook and meal delivery driver servicing NAMOW seniors that reside in the northern section of Onondaga County. NAMOW services communities of individuals over 60 years of age and unable to shop and prepare nutritious meals for themselves. The program allows for hot and cold meals to be provided throughout the week to seniors in need of assistance and provides over 110,000 meals each year.
Known by most of his clients on his route, Ric helps connect those in need with supportive services and resources in the community.
When NAMOW found themselves without a Kitchen Manager this past year, Ric stepped up to the plate and filled in. Going above and beyond, Ric worked five days a week in the kitchen while also maintaining his duties as a cook and volunteer driver.
“Our NAMOW Volunteers and clients say Ric is truly a champion that adds to the quality of life for all in the community,” says fellow NAMOW Board Member, Bob Graves.
Ric’s volunteer work often extends beyond NAMOW. He can be found several evenings each month at the Francis House serving the evening meal to residents and families or providing companionship for someone in their final moments of life. He also volunteers with his two King Charles Cavaliers to perform Animal Assisted Therapy at nursing homes, assisted living facilities, hospitals, and hospices with Pet Partners of CNY.
As an active volunteer with NAMOW, Ric Wahl pursues the program’s mission to ensure that no senior goes hungry. Known for his famous Macaroni & Cheese, Ric says, “Devoting myself to others gives me great satisfaction and the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of seniors.”