George Hamilton volunteered for Meals On Wheels for over 20 years—learn why it’s so special to him

This post originally appeared in partnership with Bham Now.
george hamilton, meals on wheels
George Hamilton. (Jacob Blankenship / Bham Now)

Meals on Wheels (MOW) is a huge part of the central Alabama community, serving around 1,200 seniors meals every single day in Jefferson County. I had the privilege of sitting down with Mr. George Hamilton, an incredible 100-year-old who spent his time volunteering for MOW for over 20 years. Keep reading to meet Mr. Hamilton and learn why he is so passionate about serving others.

Meet Mr. Hamilton

United Way of Central Alabama 3 1 George Hamilton volunteered for Meals On Wheels for over 20 years—learn why it's so special to him
Turning 101 in April! (Jacob Blankenship / Bham Now)

In addition to spending time helping others with Meals on Wheels, Mr. Hamilton has led an incredible life. A World War II veteran, he enlisted in the Navy in 1942 when he was 19. He worked in the trucking industry for 20 years, at Vulcan Materials for 20 years and worked 15 years in steel fabrication. He lettered in college baseball and even briefly played professional baseball.

He has three children, four grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

All that being said, I was happy to take any advice he had to offer about living a full, long life.

“This is what you’ve got to do: Wake up, look up and be thankful for another day. I pray everyday that today will be an even better day than yesterday was. And more often than not, it is.

You also have to smile. It takes more muscles to frown than smile, so it’s easy! Smiling is contagious, so people need to see you smile.”

George Hamilton

At the end of May, Hamilton will travel on a memorial trip to Normandy for the D-Day anniversary. He said he’s looking forward to getting to meet and connect with people there.

A passion for serving others

IMG 6028 768x576 1 George Hamilton volunteered for Meals On Wheels for over 20 years—learn why it's so special to him
Mr. Hamilton and his photo from enlisting in the Army. (United Way of Central Alabama)

When I asked him why he loved volunteering for Meals on Wheels and continued to do so for so long, he said it’s all about the people. He credited growing up during the Great Depression for that passion.

“The older I get, the more I think it was a privilege to grow up during the Great Depression. I learned so much about people! We all relied on each other during that time and had to be there for others.

The biggest thing about MOW for me was building relationships with clients. It was more than just handing off a meal and shutting the door. I connected and built trust with these people over the years.”

George Hamilton

While Mr. Hamilton no longer works in the kitchen, he does take the occasional ride with the Meals on Wheels team to go visit those clients he formed relationships with during his years as a volunteer.

Volunteer with Meals on Wheels

prepping meals at Meals on Wheels
Prepping food at Meals on Wheels (Jacob Blankenship / Bham Now)

Want to get involved and build special relationships too? Delivering the many meals takes a village.

Meals on Wheels depends on volunteers who deliver lunchtime meals to homebound seniors. Meal delivery opportunities are Monday-Friday and with routes usually taking about an hour. Learn more about how you can help make a difference across Jefferson County.

Ready to volunteer with United Way Meals on Wheels? Sign up today.