Local resident Kay Uli has just celebrated her 80th birthday. What keeps her young? Some will say her volunteering work she does at Sharing and Caring.
"It helps so many people in so many different ways," said Uli of Sharing and Caring.
"Some people have come back and gave us a donation or just told us thank you, or we get letters saying how much they appreciate us helping them. We helped a lot of kids who didn't have clothes for school or food. We give a lot of food away, and we get a lot donated to us, too."
Uli has been volunteering at Sharing and Caring longer than any of the other wonderful volunteers who are solely responsible for the operation of the organization in support of the community.
"Everyone here is a volunteer, and everything we make goes right back to help the others," said Uli.
"Our thing is to give people a hand up, never a hand out," she added. "We help people who have fallen on hard times, and every now and again, we make a difference in people's lives."
Sharing and Caring has helped individuals with funeral expenses, people who are homeless, and has provided assistance with rent and utilities bills for those experiencing difficult times.
"Our main staple, day in and day out, is food," Uli said. "If people are hungry, we have a pantry. But, whats really interesting is at Christmas, when we pass out toys and clothes and food. Some of the people, they just cry, and it just makes you feel like God is with us when we help.
The volunteers at Sharing and Caring all know that there are always those who are takers, but then there are those who genuinely found themselves lost, with nothing.
"We can always use volunteers. Many of our volunteers have retired because of their health, or have moved on to other places, and some of them have gotten jobs," said another long-term volunteer, Dee Swenson.
"We can always take food of any kind, not outdated. We just don't take magazines, we have no place for them," said Swenson, adding, "We never turn anybody down."
If Caring and Sharing doesn't have room for donations, they pass it forward to organizations like the Salvation Army.
Sharing and Caring is open Monday through Friday, from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., and closed Saturday and Sundays. For more information, or to arrange for large donations, call 822-3001.
Stop by the store and say "Happy Birthday" to the Sharing and Caring's longest-running volunteer, Kay Uli.