Person of the Week: Woody Jerger

May 1, 2009 11:28:27 AM PDT
It's almost lunchtime and Woody Jerger is filling his car with food. The Meals on Wheels volunteer doesn't like to keep folks waiting."If someone doesn't come, they don't eat," he told Eyewitness News.

As often as he can, Jerger delivers hot meals to the elderly in Wake County. They're people he's come to know and love like family.

"They're all God's children and the Lord's allowed me to take care of a few of them, and someday I might need someone to take care of me," he offered.

For Jerger, delivering food isn't always easy.

"I have a lot of problems now with nausea and I'm feeling real sick all the time. I have a lot of pain. I take pain medicine from time to time," he explained.

Jerger's battling a serious liver disease, recovering from knee surgery, and earlier this year, was weak with pneumonia. Through it all, he drives on.

"Sometimes I'm not feeling real well, but they give more to me than I could ever give to them. There's one of me and 15 of them, so I get so much love from them," he said.

Jerger is so dedicated that he's willing to go into his own pocket to make sure no one goes hungry.

"They shorted me a meal one day by accident and I got there and my dear friend - I won't say her name because I know about the privacy act - she opened the door and I didn't have anything and I said 'Sweetie they shorted me a meal. I'm going to get you a hamburger from Wendy's.' She said 'No, no, no.' I said 'What did you have for breakfast?' 'I had a piece of cheese and apple juice.' That was her breakfast," Jerger recalled.

That dear friend is 81-year-old Ethel McDonald who's grateful to have Jerger in her life.

"He came to see me two or three times while I was in the hospital," she said.

It's that love for the people he serves that keeps Jerger making the rounds despite the fact that there's no cure for his liver disease and he's receiving physical therapy for his knee.

Hundreds of elderly people in the Triangle depend on Meals on Wheels volunteers to bring them food. If you'd like to volunteer for the Wake County program, go to www.wakemow.org. For other central North Carolina programs, go to http://www.mowaa.org/Page.aspx?pid=253 and search.

Click here if you'd like to nominate someone to be our Person of the Week


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