Cheerful Dawn Ross: Making a Difference at Meals on Wheels

In the heartwarming tradition of “The Starfish Story,” Dawn Ross embodies the spirit of making a difference. From her humble beginnings as a stay-at-home mom to her pivotal role at Meals on Wheels, Dawn’s dedication shines. With her son Eddie following her selfless example, they spread joy one meal at a time, proving that kindness knows no age.

There is an old tale called “The Starfish Story.” This story is about an old man who came upon a small boy throwing stranded starfish back into the ocean. The old man asked the boy why he was wasting his time when the starfish would likely be returned to the same fate. The boy looked at him, picked up a starfish, threw it back in, and said, “It made a difference to that one.”

Dawn Ross, Service Delivery Assistant, Meals on Wheels, with son Eddie

Cheerful and open-minded Dawn Ross has the same mentality as the optimistic boy in that she knows the importance of helping others at every opportunity she can.

Before working for Meals on Wheels, she was a stay-at-home mom who volunteered for Midland Care and Meals on Wheels.

At Midland Care, Ross is making a difference as the Service Delivery Assistant for Meals on Wheels.

“I’ve been volunteering for Midland Care for about seven years. I began by helping with family nights and with simple administrative stuff. When Covid hit, I moved to Meals on Wheels. After a couple of years volunteering there for up to 10 hours a week, Kimberly Williams asked if they could hire me part-time, where I’d work 15 or more hours a week. I’ve been employed for a little over two years now,” said Ross. “I continue to do volunteer stuff, including helping at events, coordinating rose deliveries for participants who passed, and sending out birthday cards to our volunteers. When my son is not in school, he helps me with work and volunteer stuff.”

She loves the people she works with and the physical aspect of her job. She also attributes her mental health to its prime since she works with great people.

Kimberly Williams, Meals on Wheels Director, is grateful to have Ross working with the team.

“Dawn is an essential part of the Meals on Wheels program. Dawn’s position requires a lot of attention to detail. She provides a quality check so that each delivery route has the correct hot trays and cold sacks,” said Williams. “We are blessed to have Dawn on our Meals on Wheels team!”

Ross spent half her childhood in Oregon and the other half in Texas.

Before working at Midland Care, she worked as a 9-1-1 operator and then at a life insurance company in Kansas City.

She earned her bachelor’s degree from Upper Iowa University.

Ross is a remarkably talented artist and writer. Her focus in art primarily revolves around depicting animals and nature through drawings. Additionally, she has authored and published multiple science fiction novels.

Her family, art, and writing bring her the most joy in life.

Dawn sets a perfect example for giving back, and her son follows in her footsteps. Nine-year-old Eddie volunteers at Meals on Wheels.

When he is not a third-grade student, he enjoys volunteering because “Helping people is nice.”

He enjoys helping at Meals on Wheels because of the friendly people he meets.

 When he is older, not only does he want to be a scientist, but he also wants to be like Lyndsey Williams. “I want to be like Lyndsey, who works in the Meals on Wheels office because she can fill in for anyone.”

To say everyone at Meals on Wheels loves Eddie would be an understatement.

Kimberly Williams, Meals on Wheels Director, shared, “Eddie brings joy to the kitchen when he volunteers. The staff loves him, and he is such a tremendous help to our drivers and his mom, Dawn,” said Williams. “Eddie helps the drivers load their vans with delivery bags and performs other miscellaneous tasks. We are very fortunate to have Eddie as a dedicated volunteer for Meals on Wheels!”

Eddie’s favorite food is sushi, which he and his mom sometimes like to get after work. His response was quick when asked who his hero was. He said, “My mom.”

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