Meals director loves her job

Published 4:21 pm Thursday, July 19, 2007

By By ERIKA PICKLES / Niles Daily Star
NILES – It's easy to see why so many volunteer drivers for Meals on Wheels speak so highly of Teri Sokoloskis, the program's facilitator.
Not only is she kind, easy to get along with and always in high spirits, but she, like so many others in the past, has helped keep Meals on Wheels going.
"I enjoy this position. I enjoy everything about it. The people I work with are great, the volunteers are wonderful. I don't know what I would do without them."
Though Sokoloskis hasn't been with Meals as long as many of the drivers, they all seem to enjoy her and everything she has done for the program.
"There was a week in April that was volunteer week, where people recognize volunteers and everything they do. Well, I extended that to the whole month of April. I gave our volunteers cards and key chains, just a way to let them know how appreciated they are. I never realized I would get cards back, thanking me, but that's what kind of people these volunteers are – kind, caring and very appreciative of everything," Sokoloskis explained.
She went on to talk about her position and how it came about. Starting as a cook at the hospital, Sokoloskis knew it was time to move ahead and move on to something new.
"I knew this position for Meals on Wheels was coming available. After talking with my boss, he went to the board with a plan about making my position part of Lakeland, since that position wasn't before. The board agreed and I became supervisor. It was a very big change. We had to make a lot of adjustments with the menus, routes and everything else, but we did it," she said.
Sokoloskis does everything for the program, except prepare the food.
"That's the work of Deborah Pigee. She gets all of the meals together and does a great job," Sokoloskis said.
She added the clients of the program get one hot and one cold meal a day. "It was really hard for a while to get different cold meals. You really don't have much of a choice other than cold sandwiches and that can get a little old. So I got some new meals, like chicken and ham salad sandwiches and the clients love them," she said.
Sokoloskis said Meals is always in need of volunteer drivers and that anyone interested should call her.
"It only takes about an hour a day and you can do it as much or little as you like. There are no restrictions. The only thing you have to do is fill out a form through the hospital because they do a slight background check and that's all," she said.
Those wanting more information on volunteering may do so by calling Teri at 687-1462.