AMHERST, NY - Keith Tepas has always been dedicated to others.
As an elected member to the Order of the Arrow, a Boy Scout Honor Society with a focus on volunteer activities, Keith Tepas learned early on the importance of giving back to your community.
A 24 year-old from Williamsville, NY, Keith Tepas has Down Syndrome, but he's never let that keep him from doing everything he sets his mind to.
Since 2012 Keith has been volunteering for Meals on Wheels of WNY and has worked up quite the following.
Each week dozens of WNY'ers look forward to their visit from Keith not only for the meal but for the great company and conversations he provides.
For example the first place Keith visits is home to a gentleman in a wheelchair whose strength is failing him. Each visit, Keith opens the gentleman's bottle of peach Snapple for him - a task he enjoys. Recently, this gentleman started crying about a neighbor who had to enter a nursing home. He needed Keith's sympathetic hand on the shoulder and reassuring "it will be okay" to begin feeling better about the change.
Another recipient lives on the second floor of a building and has a dog that he says everyone else is afraid of. Keith loves the dog and, in turn, the dog loves the Meals on Wheels visits, and delights in the attention Keith bestows on him. This recipient's daughter says that Keith's visits always brighten her father's day.
There are countless other stories, with each of them showing the special friendship these individuals have with Keith that goes far beyond the nutritious food he delivers.
Keith is a tremendous volunteer delivering sunny smiles to the homebound and that is why he is the latest winner of The Great Give Back 2013.
Congratulations Keith and keep up the good work!
Remember that if you or someone you know deserves recognition and $1,000 donated to the charity they represent nominate them for The Great Give Back 2013 by clicking here.