1/8/2014 9:21:00 AM Senior Center needs drivers for food pick-up
CASA Senior Center cook Ruth Clark takes a look at the food inventory as she prepares the lunch meal.
Trib Photo/Briana Lonas
Administrative Director Mary Wise helps to organize the many volunteers at the CASA Senior Center.
Trib Photo/Briana Lonas
The Prescott Valley CASA Senior Center is looking for volunteer drivers to fill several open slots, as some people are "retiring" from their duties.
JD and Sally Wallace have been picking up food from the Yavapai Food Bank and Safeway for 21 years. The husband and wife, both in their 80s, deliver the food to the CASA Senior Center Commodities Room that is open to the public. When they moved to the area, their neighbor, a CASA volunteer, asked if the couple could help since they had a pick-up truck. They've been volunteering ever since.
"We've enjoyed it very much. It gets us out and keeps us moving. If you don't have something to do, you get stale," Wallace said.
She remembers when some of the CASA leaders would host picnics or breakfasts in the mountains.
"We made a lot of friends along the way. Anyone wanting to volunteer will probably enjoy the experience," she said. "You have to have a large truck, the loads are very big. On Mondays, we pick up food from Safeway and on Wednesdays we pick up from the Yavapai Food Bank once a week and we will keep doing this until someone takes our place. Once you do it, you look forward to doing it."
John and Patty Plate have been picking up food for 25 years. John said that they have helped a lot of people over the years.
"This makes you feel good to give them a hand. There are days you have to work for it, through rain, snow, but it's invigorating. We've made a lot of nice friends over the years. It's been wonderful, very rewarding," he said.
Brian Claffey also started volunteering 20 years ago. He was a single parent and the recipient of commodity assistance. He told himself that once he got back on his feet, he would give back. Years later, Claffey honored that promise.
"It's a positive experience," Claffey said. "I'm one of the youngest. It's been great and very rewarding just to be able to help. It's not that hard and the happiness you get out of it is a payback just to see the smile on people's faces."
The homebound seniors receive delivered meals from CASA's Meals on Wheels program that prepares between 75 and 120 meals a day. CASA has more than 200 volunteers. Those interested in volunteering can call Mary Wise at 928-772-3337.