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Wendy Bernard

Homeowner in Chiloquin, OR

My experience with Sierra Service Project is one of awe. Daily I wondered where I could turn for the help my husband and I were search of. We needed a ramp to make it easier for both of us to get in and out of our home, and I had run out of places to go. One day, I saw mention of SSP in the weekly newsletter for our small town of Chiloquin. After a couple years of waiting for those that were more in need than us to get work done, I filled out the application.

“They talked to us like we were old friends and listened to our stories.”

I was surprised when I got the call we had been chosen. I counted down the days, and I’ll admit I wasn’t sure what to expect. How would we be received by the workers? The day they arrived, I was so surprised at how warm and welcoming everyone was, all my concerns gone. It was as if family had come home to help me out. The volunteers were smiling, polite, and totally put me at ease.

They talked to us like we were old friends and listened to our stories. It had been a long time since I had seen that amount of dedication from young people. You could see the care and pride they had in their work. Their love and concern for us as individuals brought smiles to our faces. I would spend each day outside with them. I looked forward to their arrival every day, and when they left, it was as if my own children had returned to their homes.

“I wish they could have seen the day my husband came down the ramp, both arms in the air in victory in being able to leave the house without the pain of walking down steps.”

These young people went above and beyond. In return, I just had to do something for them, so I provided pitchers of lemonade, which they seemed to truly appreciate. They were a blessing and a bright light in the darkness that had become our battle for help.

They will forever be part of my heart and I wish they knew how much they mean to me. I wish they could have seen the day my husband came down the ramp, both arms in the air in victory in being able to leave the house without the pain of walking down steps, and the ease of me being able to do the same. We will never forget those who worked at our home and I hope in the future others will know the blessing of SSP’s work.

 

Editor’s Note: This article is featured in SSP’s 2018 Annual Newsletter; read all the stories written by youth volunteers, summer staff, and community members. Request a hard copy newsletter to be mailed to you.

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  • At SSP, we believe in learning directly from local members of the communities where we serve. In Smith River, volunteers break every Wednesday from home repair projects to work with the Tolowa Dunes Stewards, removing invasive beachgrass. This promotes native plant growth and protects native species! To prepare for this hands-on service, volunteers hear from Tara on Tuesdays about biological diversity in the region, and the impact this work can have. After several years of these efforts, we have seen native species return to the area!
  • SSP is hiring for two full-time positions starting in September!
- Rancho Cordova Program Manager
- North Sacramento Program ManagerEach program manager will be assigned as the lead of coordinating volunteer work in one of these communities.
Approximately half of hours will be spent on specific site program related work, the other half on general administrative support which includes bookkeeping, volunteer communication, managing the food and construction programs, and site management during the summer.Link in bio to see job descriptions, apply by July 29!
  • Today Louisa painted for the first time! What have you learned at SSP?

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