Volunteer Corner | SierraSun.com

Volunteer Corner

Amy Edgett/Sierra SunMs. Jesse Griffin

What are you training for as an elf? Helping as the community comes together for the Senior Apartments and Meals on Wheels. The Truckee Community Christmas (TCC), Queen of Hearts, Mountain Hardware and the whole community help under the direction of Head Elf Patti Bena.What duties does an elf have?Putting needs and wishes together for the seniors, so the community gets the right gift to the right person. You could say we are Santas eyes and ears. We elves also work for the TCC food basket program, collecting and distributing food to the senior center and meals on wheels.Did this year bring any new faces to the team?We have a new resource the kids at Sierra College. They responded so well. And it makes kids aware of the needs of seniors.How do the recipients of the gifts and food baskets respond?Wow! So happy, grateful, for the wish boxes. Its important the community recognize the needs of seniors, to work together in light of a bad economy, that any donation is valuable.What do elves do off-season?We also volunteer at the monthly pancake breakfast, and would like for the community to come out and support this fundraiser by participating. Come have breakfast the first Sunday, each month, from 8 to 11:30 a.m. at the Truckee Recreation Center. It supports senior programs, including Meals on Wheels.What have you learned as an elf?We need to address the aging population, and realize that not only our mothers and fathers but ourselves will need independent living on a fixed income. By the community getting involved, we can help supplement that income. We are going to need help. There has been a 10 percent increase in utility cost, compared to a 2.4 percent Social Security increase. Our seniors are going to have to choose between heat, food and medications.What wish do you have as an elf?I hope the wishes of our seniors continue to be filled year-round. I volunteer because I get so much more from giving than getting. I could have been on the streets. I like to see people so happy with the little things in life.Any fond memories to cherish?One woman was not going to live to see the holiday. Her wish was to have her prayer plant divided and given to her daughter and daughter-in-law before she died. With the help of the Villager Nursery and Mountain Hardware, the plant was divided and re-potted. She died the Thursday before Christmas, aware this wish had been granted.How would interested elves get involved?Contact the Sierra Senior Services, at 587-2408. The Sierra Suns Amy Edgett interviewed Jesse Griffin for this weeks Volunteer Corner. Please send your suggestions to aedgett@sierrasun.com, subject Volunteer Corner. For volunteer opportunities in the North Tahoe Truckee area, visit http://www.handsontahoe.com.

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