The Sydney-based fashion expert juggles two jobs, but still makes time to deliver hundreds of meals to those in need, because she strongly believes that if you can help someone make their life less difficult, then you should.
“It's rewarding to go there every day and see that you make a material difference in someone else’s life,” she says.
“Even if you don’t know them at all, or you know them a little bit, there’s definitely connections you make with people that you wouldn’t have made otherwise - and it makes you really appreciate what you have in life.
“It’s nice to know what we are doing is helping them stay in their own homes for as long as possible. It’s their faces and the smiles you get when you deliver to them, but also the gratitude from their families.”
Angela, 27, who is an Amazon Australia Brand Analyst, and also manages the Drummoyne branch of Dorothy Cowie dance school, started volunteering for the Concord-Drummoyne branch of Meals on Wheels, just before the COVID-19 pandemic took grip in Australia, three years ago.
And it was her very special relationship with her grandma Olga, that inspired her to help out older Australians struggling to provide for themselves. When Angela was adopted by her parents, Pam and Peter at three months old, Olga thought all her wishes had come true.
“Mum had been making a wish when she blew out her birthday candles for nine years and on the ninth year on her birthday, she got the call that my parents were getting me. Both my grandparents were elated,” shares Angela.
It was daily visits to Olga in a nursing home in the latter stages of her life, that showed Angela just how valuable family and relationships were, particularly if they suffered from dementia, as Olga did before she passed away in 2017.
“I’m a very strong believer in if you can help someone to make their life less difficult, then you should, so I reached out to Concord-Drummoyne Meals on Wheels (which has since been amalgamated with other Meals on Wheels branches in Sydney’s Inner West),” she says.
Angela had previously assisted other charities with fundraising, but wanted to do something more tangible in terms of volunteer work, and the legendary grassroots support that Meals on Wheels offers the community resonated.
“For the first two years I was delivering once, if not twice a week –I’d deliver around eight meals per run, so I’ve probably delivered over 500 meals so far,” she says.
“You get to know a lot of people really well. You see them regularly. Some like to have a chat, some are more reserved. A lot of the clients we deliver to have early onset dementia. It was difficult during COVID-19 because we were encouraged to be completely contactless.”
To find out more about Meals on Wheels go to https://mealsonwheels.org.au