Nancy Lockwood moved to Seattle from Long Island, NY over Labor Day 2017 to be near one of her sons and his wife. She knew no one, but true to her admission that she’s “very organized,” she made a list of four things she needed to do to connect with her new home upon arrival: find a library, find a church, volunteer, and (possibly) find a part-time job.
So far, she’s found a church, a library, a volunteer opportunity, and is uncertain she has enough time for a part-time job. Additionally, to help familiarize herself with her new home, Nancy joined a walking group at her local Y with excursions around the area, and she bought a car with a navigation system, so she can explore her new home on her own.
“[Nancy] keeps everything running smoothly and effectively, puts people at ease, and really seems to enjoy her volunteer role. We couldn’t do it without her and are grateful to be able to depend on her steady presence, good humor, and stellar skills and know how.” –Lifelong Staff
Nancy loves it in Seattle and has no regrets leaving her home on Long Island. Among the things she likes about the Northwest are “no snow, no humidity, great sunsets, and mountains all around.”
The only things she misses about Long Island are her garden and the colorful Cardinal songbirds that populate the East coast.
Soon after arriving in the Seattle area, Nancy picked up a free newspaper at the grocery store and read an article on volunteering listing Solid Ground’s RSVP (Retired & Senior Volunteer Program) as a place to call for senior volunteer opportunities.
After consulting with RSVP, Nancy chose the Chicken Soup Brigade (CSB) program at Lifelong, a community health organization offering a wide variety of services for people living with chronic illnesses. CSB has been serving clients across the greater Seattle area with nutritious food and meals for over 30 years.
Every week, staff and over 200 volunteers prepare, package and hand deliver more than 1,000 nutritionally specific meals. The food and meals are processed from CSB’s main distribution center in Georgetown, then delivered to satellite distribution locations around the area for final delivery to clients.
Nancy is the Satellite Site Coordinator at the Bellevue distribution center. Every week, she organizes meals for delivery and supports volunteer drivers as they prepare their deliveries.
Here’s how the people who work with Nancy describe her contribution: “[She] keeps everything running smoothly and effectively, puts people at ease, and really seems to enjoy her volunteer role. We couldn’t do it without her and are grateful to be able to depend on her steady presence, good humor, and stellar skills and know how.”
About half way through our time together, Nancy told me a story that changed her outlook on food. Twenty years ago, she was in the checkout line with about a week and a half supply of groceries for herself and her two growing boys.
Behind her in line was a woman with two small children who was buying three TV dinners, three bananas, a box of Cheerios, and a carton of milk. The contrast between her full shopping cart and this woman’s hand-to-mouth food shopping made a deep and lasting impression on her.
No stranger to food delivery, Nancy’s parents volunteered with Meals on Wheels for over 20 years and instilled in her the importance of volunteering. Her father was also active with the Boy Scouts, while her mother made recordings for the blind. Nancy has “always been interested in getting food to people who need it,” and, she says, “the need in Seattle is enormous.”
When not volunteering for Lifelong, Nancy cooks for The Sofia Way shelter at her church, stays informed on current events, watches TV when there’s a good movie on, and enjoys cooking and baking. With everything she’s involved with, it’s hard to imagine Nancy ever having time for a part-time job!