In February of 2002 Connie and Al Amador were living rich, fulfilled lives. He worked as a marine mechanical engineer and she was an HR professional. For the proud parents of two boys and one girl, family was (and remains) everything. They relished watching their children excel and grow up in their Pleasant Hill home and raised them with the same beliefs and principals instilled by their immigrant parents. Always striving to lead by example through love and kindness Connie and Al decided to find a volunteer opportunity they could participate in together. Connie remembers it was a commercial with a singing man delivering meals that convinced them to volunteer for Meals on Wheels Senior Outreach Services (now Meals on Wheels Diablo Region (MOWDR)).
Al remembers being immediately impressed by the passion of MOWDR’s staff. The two completed orientation and embarked on an 18-year journey filled with laughter and tears, and gained a rare insight into the profound reward of touching others' lives through the simple act of meal delivery.
Connie and Al always delivered together—he was the navigator, driver, and meal carrier—she was, as Al lovingly describes her, the “PR” person. They took their deliveries seriously and took to heart what they were told by the then Director, “You are the eyes and ears of the community.” Wellness checks were a priority for them and more than once they felt compelled to report concerns to MOWDR staff. They made sure to always accommodate clients by customizing their delivery style to fit the clients’ preferences—some would only meet them at the door while others invited them in to sit and talk.
In 18 years, the couple met a lot of clients, and they have many stories and memories to share. They recall listening with patience and kindness to the same story or looking at the same photo album when a client’s memory had failed. Al was once asked to rescue a client’s turtle that was stuck on its back. Connie says, “The clients educated us. We held them, we laughed with them, we cried together when they would lose their beloved pets. We cried when they passed away. The 18 years were a joy and a pleasure that we’ll never forget.” Even with route changes, Connie and Al made connections that turned into lasting friendships and continue to be pen pals with one client years after she left the program.
Recently, Connie and Al made the difficult decision to stop delivering meals. “We miss it, but it became harder to get out of the car and navigate some of the steep pathways and staircases.” Despite not having the weekly delivery schedule, they continue to live full lives. Their family now includes seven grandchildren whom they speak of with beaming pride—especially the fact that they are legacy De La Salle grandparents. They stay active by walking, and dream of visiting the Amalfi Coast one day.
Connie and Al Amador gave love, kindness, and nourishment to in-need seniors through action every week for an astounding 18 years. They humbly explain that they are the richer for it. When asked what he would say to someone who was considering a MOWDR volunteer opportunity Al quickly responds, “Just do it”!
Thank you, Connie and Al—for your remarkable service and resounding endorsement. Together, for them, you did it!