Meals on Wheels volunteer receives Mission Award

Family members and friends recently gathered to honor Mary Ellen Bartholomew (front, seated) on her being named a Mission Award recipient. Back from left, Charlotte Leidy, Mindy Bartholomew, Carolyn Daniloff, Marty Diaz and Ed Bartholomew.

LEWISBURG — A Meals on Wheels volunteer from Milton was recently honored by the United Methodist Association with a 2020 Mission Award.

Mary Ellen Bartholomew has been volunteering for Meals on Wheels at RiverWoods Senior Living Center for more than 46 years. Albright Care Services noted Bartholomew was one of three Mission Award recipients nationwide, and has demonstrated an outstanding contribution to the mission

Batholomew, 91, was invited to accept the award at a ceremony in Boulder, Colo., but it was canceled in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

RiverWoods Marketing Assistant Allison Kauffman presented Bartholomew with the award at her daughter's home in Lewisburg. 

Bartholomew learned about the Meals on Wheels program as a member of Trinity Episcopal Church, Milton. She teamed up with best friend Jane Kaar, to deliver meals to people who were homebound.

Bartholomew has continued the meal deliveries with daughter Carolyn Daniloff, as they make about 16 stops with 20 meals on a route in the Milton area.

The number of years don't matter, Bartholomew said, considering the task at hand.

"I don't think that far ahead," she said. "I just go ahead and do what's there now to be done...and if it's still there when I'm still here...I'll do it.

"There are people who do not see anyone else but you that day and it always makes you feel good to see their smile and that they are happy to see you," Bartholomew said. "My grandson Nicholas (Daniloff) has gone with me. He would carry the bag in, and I'll tell you, when those people saw a young person, they just light up. It just makes you feel good to make somebody else feel good."

Bartholomew has also been a hospice volunteer, delivered communion elements to members of her church who were unable to attend worship was active on the Milton School Board and served as a Meals on Wheels board member.

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