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Seventh-graders bring meals, smiles to Forest Grove seniors

Community service resonates with Forest Hills Lutheran School students

by: COURTESY PHOTOS: ART HEERWAGEN - Ninety-year-old Forest Grove resident Winnie Rosborough was the teams first stop last Thursday. Rosborough, who was born in Wisconsin, said receiving the Meals on Wheels lunches each day is a special time for her. Delivering the meal are (left to right) Forest Hills Lutheran School Director of Admissions Audrea Lotman and seventh-graders Maya Harrison and Reed Cunningham. We really like doing this, said the girls. We get an opportunity to help other people, and it gives us experience for volunteering in the future.Five days out of each month, Audrea Lotman, director of admissions at the 150-student Forest Hills Lutheran School in Cornelius and two students from the seventh-grade class get in a car and head west to the Forest Grove Senior and Community Center.

There, they take part in the center’s daily Meals on Wheels distribution program.

“I got the idea of involving the seventh-graders in community service by seeing our eighth-graders serving lunches at the Hillsboro Senior Center,” said Lotman. She contacted center Manager Natasha Spoden, who “set up a one-week-a-month schedule for us. We started deliveries the first of this year.”

Spoden said she was delighted to have the students helping and learning the importance of community service. “We deliver an average of 70 meals, five days a week, which is actually more than we serve each day in our dining room,” Spoden said. “We draw on a pool of about 40 volunteer drivers and helpers. Some help every day, some once a week, some once a month.

“We distribute meals Monday through Friday, and include extra weekend meals for those with special [dietary] needs.”

Each morning during the school’s delivery week, Lotman takes two different students to the center on Douglas Street, where they pick up a pre-packed cooler, a bag of non-perishables and a large binder with route maps, notes about special dietary-needs lunches and a “Sorry we missed you” sign.

“There are 10 stops on our route,” Lotman said. “We start at about 10:30 [and] it takes us about an hour to make the deliveries. We’re back at the school by noon.”

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