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PROVO -- A Provo man has been recognized for his volunteer service at an age when most people are in need of help themselves. He takes a route each week for the Meals on Wheels program, delivering food to homebound seniors in Utah County.
"The people seem to appreciate it," Charles Middleton says. "If we don't do it, they won't get it. I really enjoy it."
At 89 years old, you would think Charles would be at home waiting for someone to deliver a meal to him. He doesn't see it that way at all.
"I'm 80 years young. I'm able to drive and get around, and I really appreciate getting to help others," Charles says.
He always brings his wife of 65 years with him on his route. Mary Middleton is now battling Alzheimer's disease, but together he says they make a great team.
On Thursday, Charles was surprised to learn he has been named the 2009 Utah County Caregiver of the Year for his volunteer work in the community. He believes the real honor though, is making someone else's day better, and he always shares a smile at each stop in addition to the meal he's delivering.
"Just seeing the smiles on the face of the people I am able to help, because they enjoy the meals, never complain about it, and I get to talk to them, ask them how they are doing," Charles says.
Charles says he has learned it's not what's on the menu that's important, but the friends you make along the way.
Charles will turn 90 in January and has no plans to retire in the near future as a volunteer for Meals on Wheels.