Gracious Helpers is a branch interest group that provides meals and support to members who are ill, recovering from surgery, or caring for a family member. It was started in 2016 after the Arts and Crafts Group informally helped a couple of its members and recognized the need for a program that was available to serve branch members in general. Chaired by Pat Pedersen. Activities of the group
are coordinated by its steering committee: Pat Pedersen, Teri McConnell, and Cheryl Morris.
How Does It Work? Gourmet cooking is not required! Typically a volunteer prepares an entrée and perhaps a side dish or salad and delivers it to the recipient. The meal is ready to be baked, reheated, or frozen, and the volunteer provides instructions to the recipient as to oven temperature, cooking time, etc. The idea is to keep it simple for everyone, so volunteers use containers that don’t need to be returned. Carry-out food is also acceptable as long as it is healthy and meets the recipient’s dietary limitations, if any. If the recipient wants to visit a little, this helps her stay connected to AAUW friends and activities.
HowI Is It Organized? Gracious Helpers uses Meal Train, a simple computer website, to inform and organize the group. A new volunteer sets up an account with Meal Train and then receives notification if there is a new recipient or a change in the needs of a current recipient. Basic information is posted, including dietary needs and preferences. There is a calendar of dates from which the volunteer can select and sign up. Check out www.mealtrain.com for further information, or ask one of the steering committee members for help in setting up and using your account. We don’t want fear of the computer to be a barrier to volunteering, so please ask! It really is simple.
How to Sign Up
“Many hands make light work.” Gracious Helpers is an easy, enjoyable way to be of service to our long-time members and to make new friends as well. For more information or to volunteer, please contact Pat Pedersen at 530-447-1881 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org. If you know someone who might need Gracious Helpers assistance, please let Pat Pedersen know and she will be in contact with her.