These are your #LocalHeroes — ordinary people doing extraordinary things in Sweetwater County. This SweetwaterNOW series highlights those often unnoticed acts of kindness to the incredible actions of many in our community.
Ray Curtis, 92, has dedicated the past 28 years of his life to ensuring the community’s seniors receive meals throughout the year.
“The people need the meals,” Ray said.
On Wednesday, November 25, he set out to deliver his final meals.
Golden Hour Senior Center’s (GHSC) home-delivered meals program depends on volunteers, and Ray has been a reliable one for over two decades. He retired from the workforce in 1988 and started delivering meals in 1992.
“Having volunteers is vital, we do not have the funds to have paid drivers,” Jackie Grubb, GHSC Executive Director said.
Ray has driven every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday through all weather conditions, all to make sure homebound residents receive their food. Each time he sets out, he delivers at least 12 meals. This means Ray has delivered roughly 52,416 meals over 28 years.
Ray said he has enjoyed volunteering his time at GHSC. He said he believes delivering the meals is very important because the seniors who are homebound need to eat.
“I enjoy working with the people here at the senior center and the people need the meals,” he said.
Grubb said having dependable drivers is so important to the home-delivered meals program, and Ray has been more than dependable.
“He’s been wonderful. He’s always so dedicated and dependable and caring,” Grubb said.
Not only has he shown up to deliver meals consistently, but Grubb said he’s played an important role in training the other drivers.
“It’s meant so much to have someone we can depend on,” she said. “We’re going to miss him so much.”
Several GHSC members showed up on Wednesday with their masks on to celebrate his service to the center and community, and to see him off as he left to deliver his last meals. He embarked on his final delivery trip with his son and dog, Peaches.
“I’m 92-years-old. Things come to an end,” Ray said. “I’ll miss doing it.”
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