Volunteer Profile: Catherine
April 2, 2024Aria Brock

In each of our quarterly volunteer newsletters, we profile a current volunteer to highlight the diversity of riches volunteers bring to MOWSF programming. In addition to our ongoing volunteer opportunities, our internship program has been developed by MOWSF over the last several years.  An Intern typically takes on specific projects at our offices that may include some administrative duties, research, and program management.  We are happy to introduce you to our latest Volunteer Department Intern, Catherine!

Meet Catherine Minahan! Catherine brings a wealth of experience to our team. In addition to her role here, Catherine is a nurse at the VA hospital, where she demonstrates her dedication to caring for others. Recently, Catherine collaborated with our nutrition team on a project, leveraging her expertise to support our clients. She played a crucial role in calling our clients to complete surveys, ensuring that their needs are met effectively. We’re grateful to have Catherine onboard, utilizing her skills and passion to make a positive impact in our community. We asked Catherine why she became a volunteer, and why she continues to support her community, and we had the privilege of learning from this amazing volunteer.

What do you do for a living?

 I am a registered nurse at the San Francisco VA Medical Center.  

Where are you volunteering from?

I am lucky to be volunteering from the MOW SF Headquarters! I love coming into the office, working with the MOW staff and seeing all the action firsthand. My tasks include engagement with the nutrition team and clients regarding satisfaction surveys, management of birthday card and cookie shipments for clients, and general administrative tasks as needed.  

Can you tell us when you first started volunteering with Meals on Wheels SF and what got you started?

I started with Meals on Wheels SF in January of 2024 as part of my master’s coursework toward my public health degree.  While I plan to graduate in May 2024 with my MPH, I don’t plan to move on from Meals on Wheels.  

What drives you to volunteer with MOWSF? What keeps you coming back?

As a nurse at the SFVA, I work closely with older adults who rely on Meals on Wheels for nutritional support and daily social interaction.  When I discharge patients from the hospital setting, I find comfort in their enrollment with Meals on Wheels.  Now, as a MOW volunteer I feel privileged to support the work that my patients rely on each day and get to know the amazing staff who make it all happen.

Share a volunteer story that touched your heart and that you’d like to pass on to others thinking about getting involved.

While making nutritional survey calls to clients, I spoke with a client who was happy to answer the nutrition questions, but also eager to discuss his appreciation of his volunteer grocery shopper.  I mentioned the call to my MOW supervisor and was saddened to learn that the volunteer grocery shopper the client spoke about so fondly was out of the country due to a family emergency.  This provided me with the opportunity to step-in, grocery shop and deliver for this client. Going to the grocery store is a weekly trip for me anyways and filling my cart with someone else’s choices too was easy; It was so nice to deliver to the client’s apartment, help him organize his groceries and catch up socially.   

Is there anything extra you’d like to share about your journey as a MOWSF volunteer?

I have loved getting to know the staff and clients and am totally inspired every day when I show up to MOW.  While I started as a volunteer to fulfill a course requirement, I could have never expected to be so fulfilled personally and look forward to continuing my volunteer work far beyond my coursework. 

There are many ways to engage and give back to MOWSF. I encourage anyone interested to look on the website for an opportunity that might be a good fit. Volunteering with MOWSF takes many forms – but no matter your role, volunteers support programs that impact our neighbors each day! 


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