M.A.N.A. helps housebound by improving life | SierraSun.com

M.A.N.A. helps housebound by improving life

Having been in and out of hospitals for the last six years of her life, battling a devastating disease, Tahoe-Truckee High School student Erika Soto’s life has been anything but easy.

She recently had to put school on hold indefinitely while she underwent a bone marrow transplant and was forced to spend nearly five months at Stanford Hospital.

However, now she’s back at home in Truckee and ready to get on with her life with the help of family, friends and the volunteers with Project M.A.N.A.’s (a local hunger relief organization) FACE program.

According to Chris Steer, outreach coordinator for the FACE program in Truckee, the goal of the program is to work with housebound community members to improve their quality of life.

“That means helping not only to ensure that they receive adequate nutrition but that their homes are kept up and that they are in good health and receiving all the benefits to which they are entitled,” he said.

For Soto, that means attempting to fulfill her desire for a camcorder so that she can document her upcoming family reunion in the fall.

“I had been hoping to use the video equipment at the school to document this event but the risk of infection makes that impossible,” Soto wrote in a letter. “Therefore, I’m trying to find an inexpensive camcorder or money to buy one with the help from my friends at Project M.A.N.A.”

While Steer said that getting a camera for someone is not ordinarily something he would do through the FACE program, he feels it’s something that Erika could greatly benefit from.

“She has had a terrible year, suffered a lot and has missed graduation,” he said. “She has faced it all without complaint. I trust she will return to school in the fall, but if she can’t, the camera will add interest to her home schooling.”

If you, or anyone you know can help Erika, is housebound and needs assistance, or would like to volunteer with the FACE program, contact Chris or Soren at Project M.A.N.A. at 587-4079.

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