Volunteers the lifeblood for Seniors' Resource Center

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By Chris Ferguson, News Editor

If you ask Warren Rose what his favorite day of the week is, he’ll say it’s Tuesday.
That’s because he dedicates Tuesdays to volunteering at the Seniors’ Resource Center in Evergreen — and making many new friends.
“I look forward to going in there on my volunteer days and seeing my friends,” Rose said.
Now in its 35th year, SRC’s mission is to coordinate services to enhance independence, dignity and quality of life for seniors.
The SRC is seeing an increased need for volunteers, according to Melanie Nuchols, who runs marketing and volunteer relations for the SRC in Evergreen. Upcoming events such as the Alternative Gift Fair and the annual Holiday Food Basket Drive require volunteers of all ages and abilities, Nuchols said. The food drive, which begins Nov. 1, attracts volunteers from all walks of life, she said. Students from area schools will make gifts and ornaments to go into each basket, area churches provide volunteers who pack and decorate holiday boxes, and volunteers will pack and decorate boxes for seniors in need.
“Volunteers are critical. Really, with everything we do around here (at SRC), we couldn’t do without our volunteers,” Nuchols said.
Rose and his wife, Betsy, started volunteering two years ago when they donated to the Holiday Food Drive. Last year, the Roses were integral in putting together a holiday music CD and fund-raiser. The effort raised more than $28,000, with proceeds being used to spruce up the Yellow House with new paint and carpet and parking-lot repairs.
Nowadays, Warren volunteers every Tuesday in the adult day room at the SRC’s Evergreen location.
“I actually get more out of it than the seniors do. It’s amazing to give back. There are some amazing people,” he said. “SRC has done an amazing job to put together programs that engage seniors.”
For Rose, his experience volunteering has been an enriching one. He has met many friends while volunteering in the Yellow House's day room, and has been fascinated by the life stories and tales of careers.
“I hear about seniors who have done amazing things in that day room,” he said. He has met friends who have “worked at the American Embassy in Rome and had Clark Gable in her apartment, people who drove taxicabs, and who went through the Depression and written books, artists and musicians. And just sitting there and allowing them to share their experiences and talk about the past is therapeutic for them, but it just amazes me the people who go through that room.”
Nuchols said volunteers are needed for tasks as simple as interacting with seniors to more complex services such as home fix-up or automotive repair. All prospective volunteers are screened and put through a background check to protect vulnerable seniors, she said.
“This Seniors' Resource Center has always been very cordial; people have always gotten along. It’s a nice place to work, a nice place to volunteer,” Rose said.

Holiday Food Basket drive
The Senior's Resource Center and its volunteers collect donated nonperishable food items and small gifts to give to approximately 140 older adults and disabled individuals in the community to brighten their holidays. Food bins will be placed at grocery stores in Evergreen and Conifer.
• Nov. 1: Holiday Food Basket bins will be delivered to grocery stores in Evergreen and Conifer.
• Volunteers collect food from bins and store donated goods at SRC weekly and when the donation boxes are full.
• On Dec. 9, the food basket bins will be removed from stores.
• Dec. 9-13: Volunteers will place collected nonperishable foods in decorated baskets (boxes).
• Dec. 13: Volunteers deliver Holiday Food Baskets to individuals
To volunteer, or if you know someone who is in need of a holiday basket, contact Melanie Nuchols at 303-674-2843 or mnuchols@srcaging.org.