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GPS: Helps You Help People in Your Local Community

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Up until about 3 months ago, I spent 1-2 hours every Sunday, for a whole fiscal year, delivering meals for Project Angel Food on Sunset Blvd in Los Angeles. In total, I think I devoted hours on more than 40 Sundays to this kind of hospice work. Of course, I’d deliver food to people over time and see their health decline dramatically as whatever condition they had, Kidney Disease, AIDS, took its toll. So, there was, and is, a substantial psychological “challenge” to doing this kind of charity work on a regular basis. But, you get used to it. And, now that other demands have subsided, I’m arranging to get back with Angel Food or another charity organization and participate, again, on consistent, weekly basis.

Anyway, more on my background with Angel Food. Project Angel Food provides new volunteers with an orientation and then allows them to participate in a couple of different capacities with their organization: food preparation and meal delivery. I chose to do meal delivery and found out that was probably a pretty good idea, in my case. Why? Because I had that little Garmin GPS V (couple hundred bucks on Amazon)device that I keep talking about for my Wrangler.

Map-based GPS definitely comes in handy doing meal-delivery-type hospice work. Angel Food would provide each volunteer driver with paperwork with addresses and directions to between 3-8 different residential delivery locations. You’d pick up your meals and addresses at their Sunset Blvd. Headquarters at around 11am. Sometimes you’d deliver to places you’d been previously. But, a lot of times you’d take care of whatever neighborhoods that had not been covered by another volunteer. And, these were often 5-8 miles away and in places you’d never been before!

Doing one errand at a new place in Los Angeles County can be time-consuming; doing 3-8 can kill a Sunday unless you have a little help. And, help is exactly what GPS did. I’d enter a series of addresses in my Garmin device before I even started my car; the device would then provide turn-by-turn directions to the first location and to subsequent locations. And, I could do 8 volunteer deliveries in a matter of 2 hours in parts of Los Angeles that were totally foreign to me (of course, in Angel Food’s defense, the number of deliveries generally only averaged around 4 per Sunday). For me, without GPS, doing volunteer deliveries for Angel Food would have probably taken 2 to 3 times longer each Sunday than it did.

So, if you have a handheld, map-based GPS device or a newer car with such a GPS navigation-aid installed as standard equipment, then fire it up and do some delivery-type charity work to help the poor, sick and needy. With GPS, it’s a lot more efficient, now, to do such good work in your local community.

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