Head to the Sheridan Senior Center
around lunchtime, and you'll be greeted by delicious smells, bustling
kitchen sounds and a dining room full of happy, hungry people.
And in the center is *Shirley Knisley, Home Delivered Meals Coordinator at
the Senior Center*. Well, she may not be at the center — she sits right
next to the kitchen. She coordinates the home delivered meals for around
180 people a day, but cook them, she does not.
"I sit by the kitchen, I don't cook," Knisley says with a smile. The
kitchen serves about 400 people a day, both with home delivery and in the
Here are *Five Things* you might not have known about Shirley.
1) Shirley not only plans the meals and coordinates the deliveries, but she
drives the routes when volunteer staff is low or someone can't make a
route. She is always looking for more drivers, and she says it's a
commitment that takes an hour of someone's time a day ... depending on how
long people choose to visit with their patrons.
"Some stay and do things they really shouldn't do, like shovel people's
walkways," Shirley said, saying the program's volunteers are its glue.
2) Shirley has worked in her current position for 11 1/2 years. Before
that, she was in banking.
"It fits — before I was counting money, now I am counting meals," she
Her job requires a careful amount of planning and attention to detail —
special dietary requests, planning efficient delivery routes — and also a
level of flexibility, during storms or when a volunteer can't make it.
3) Shirley moved a lot as a child, and has developed a real sense of
community in her time at the Senior Center. She has roots in Sheridan now,
she said. Some of her patrons have become like family.
"People call and I recognize their voices," Shirley said. "I have a
103-year-old woman who even remembers my birthday."
4) In her spare time, Shirley likes to quilt and ride her Harley-Davidson
Tri-Glide motorcycle with her husband Jeff.
"Yep, we're off, just riding motorcycles now," Shirley says, laughing.
5) Shirley has two daughters, a son and seven grandchildren. She loves
golden retrievers, and is originally from Minnesota. Her warmth and
infectious laughter spread through the Senior Center and out into the
community, through her hobbies, family and home delivery service.
To volunteer or for more information about the Home Delivery Meals or
Senior Center, click here .