Edward Kydd, a 101-year-old man from Florida has traveled 13,332 miles in his entire meal service career and spend almost 1,742 hours in it. The Florida man travels every Monday along with her 73-year-old daughter Janet von Berg.
Many seniors got a chance to engage themselves mostly through volunteering and age does not put a barrier in their efforts. According to Kydd. the secret to his prolonged age is the fact that he stays active and in July he is going to be 102.
The chairman of VOAD Pastor David Rosenbaum said there is a place for anyone in volunteering. Rosenbaum said that age does not matter if a person has a will to serve others and these actions from senior people of the community make a positive change. He further said that in the back office doing paperwork and encouraging their work is so charming.
The supervisor of “Aging Matters in Brevard” program Linda Wells said that one cannot overlook the importance of Meals on Wheels. In Brevard County, almost 79,403 meals have been served to 1,014 homebound seniors only in 2018, the supervisor added. In an interview, the president of United Way of Brevard, Rob Rains said that the capacity of their non-profit organization is increasing only due to the volunteers.
Rains said as a source of motivation he remembers one of Helen Keller’s quote: “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much”. Through their website uwbrevard.org, United Way offers volunteers to match for them the post of a volunteer and then join the organization, Rains added. He said that their current need is to find kids with the knowledge of science and math.
Kydd is the oldest person to serve as a volunteer in the organization. While another senior volunteer 86-year-old Kaye Koines who has motivated many students of Brevard Public Schools through another non-profit literacy organization: “Rolling Readers”. Koines is a retired mental health worker from Brevard.
Koines who is also a volunteer at “Keep Brevard Beautiful” said that she wanted to give something back and unlike most of the people she never wanted to sit back and have fun. The cocoa beach resident was retired in 1991. Koines first acted as a volunteer in “MADD” and after that, she saw an ad of “Rolling Reader” in the newspaper. She had loved reading since her childhood.
After reading the news, the Pennsylvania native thought that it was a wonderful idea as she felt himself at home with kids. Koines reads books from Cocoa Beach library and then hears stories to the kids of the school. She even attends the graduation ceremony of the students. In an interview, she said that students told her that she gives them so much but that’s not true, the reality is that they give her so much. The grandmother of six further said that she feels like a million dollar whenever she meets them.
The mother of three then started reading for the first-grade students at Cape View Elementary School. Another volunteer, John Anderson, who was born in 1926, joined Koines. He had a “Great Decisions” group and the theme of it is global issues. John was an anesthetist by profession and had an optimist view of education. The retired anesthetist is a fan of “Central Brevard Sharing Center” and he coordinates holidays activities among students.
When he turned 90, he had only one wish as he requested the guests to come with canned goods rather than gifts. The former Brevard’s Republican Party head said that he gets satisfaction by helping others and doing something meaningful for them. He further said that nobody wants to go to a state where he/she feels useless.
The Quebec native, Kydd, joined “Meals on Wheels” due to his wife. The couple remained married for 68 years after Helen died in 2012. After that, Janet von Berg took the place of her mother and started working with her father on Meals. Kydd said that Janet is doing a lot of work here at “Meals On Wheels” and everyone here has a wonderful story.