Long before she began volunteering for Meals-on-Wheels of Johnson and Ellis counties, Patricia Christiansen knew the value of the organization.

For years, volunteers with the organization brought more than just a meal to her grandmother, Helen Barnes, until the time she passed away in Wichita, Kan.

“It really was a friendly face to come see her everyday,” Christiansen said. “Honestly, I’m not even sure she ate the food. It really was a daily contact with the outside world.”

Now Christiansen, of Waxahachie, and her husband David are paying that forward to the clients they serve in town.

“A lot of these people don’t see anybody all day long,” David said. “Some of them we’ve known eight years and it’s gotten to be more than helping the community.”

The Christiansens are two of about 70 active volunteers who use their own time and money to deliver meals to people in need in Waxahachie, often taking time to visit with the clients while delivering meals.

“We put a smile on their face,” Patricia said. “Just to brighten their day is satisfying.”

There are about 250 volunteers serving in Ellis County but that number ebbs and flows, especially around the holiday, said Meals-on-Wheels development assistant Whitney Patterson.

“We are very busy [around the holidays] because a lot of our regular volunteers are out of town,” Patterson said. “So we need extra volunteers to fill in and help fill the gap. Just because it’s the holidays doesn’t mean we stop serving meals.”

Peggy Miller, 82, said she appreciates the meals she receives — but it is the time volunteers spend visiting with her that brightens her day.

“They always want to come in and visit, and you know, that makes my day,” Miller said. “They do that on their time, they use their gas, they use their car and I think that’s great. That shows they’re great people.

To volunteer for Meals-on-Wheels of Ellis and Johnson counties call 972-351-9943 or visit www.servingthechildrenofyesterday.org.

Contact Victor at victor.cristales@wninews.com or 469-517-1481.