‘You get more than you give’

Buddy Chance retires after 30 years with HOA-Meals on Wheels


For three decades, homebound senior citizens have looked forward to daily visits from Buddy Chance.

The 80-year-old director of Helping One Another-Meals on Wheels retired Friday, leaving a legacy of generosity and community outreach.

“I’ve got things I need to do,” Chance said. “I told [board president] Carolyn {Bilksi] that if you need me, I’ll come running.”

The organization, which serves about 1,600 meals per month and provides emergency kits for residents to use during weather events, is already feeling the loss.

“It takes a special person who loves senior citizens to do this job,” Bilski said. “It’s more than delivering meals. It’s about companionship. This may be the only person they talk to all week.”

HOA-Meals on Wheels is constantly recruiting volunteers and relies heavily on the support they get from local businesses like Walmart.

“I enjoy people,” said Chance, a U.S. Army veteran. “I’ve been in the people business for 40-plus years.”

Chance recently celebrated his 60th wedding anniversary and said he plans to just take it easy for a while.

“It’s best to slow things down a bit,” he said.

Bilski said she expects he’ll continue his community service; that’s just his nature. Board members are now looking for a new director who can work about 30 hours a week and has some experience with Microsoft Excel, budgeting and accounting. Ginger Henry will serve as interim director.

“Buddy was a banker before,” Bilski said. “You’ve got to have a little bit of knowledge.”

The group also needs volunteers and donations.

“It’s a rewarding experience,” said Mary Martin, who works with HOA-Meals on Wheels through the Retired Senior Volunteer Program. “I really enjoy meeting the people. They’re starved for companionship. It’s good for our volunteers too. It helps them get out of the house.”

Chance echoed that sentiment, adding that he’s enjoyed every minute of his work in Austin County.

“You get as much or more out of this than what you give,” Chance said.


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