Volunteer of the Year was looking for a way to help

Yukon Sharing volunteer Mary Siehl knew she was going to a party Friday. She just didn’t know it was for her.

Siehl has been a volunteer at the food and clothes pantry for almost two years. Friday, she was named its volunteer of the year.

Volunteer Vicki Nelson said Siehl is at the pantry almost every time the facility is open, looking for ways to help.

Siehl, 80, said she enjoys helping.

“I am retired from working and I was not doing anything around the house. I needed to do something to occupy my time,” she said.

Someone suggested that Siehl consider volunteering at Yukon Sharing.

“I donated clothes here a lot, and one day I said, ‘I among going to see what the requirements are to volunteer,’” she said.

Those requirements included being willing to donate some time.

Time was something she had plenty of after retiring from her job with Baptist Home Health Care, where she helped clean homes.

“I enjoy being active and having something to do and helping the needy. I just enjoy occupying my time. It is something I enjoy every day,” she said.

Siehl said she doesn’t really mingle with the customers, but Nelson disagreed.

“She does. She’s a people person,” Nelson said. “She takes the cart of food or clothes out to the car and she talks with them. She talks to almost everyone who comes through.”

“Yeah. I do,” Siehl responded.

Siehl volunteers at least 20 hours per week. She is essentially at the pantry whenever it is open.

Siehl said she was surprised to receive the honor.

“I just thought it was a meeting for the board members,” Siehl said. “I had no clue.”

Nelson said the volunteers play an important role in making Yukon Sharing a success.

“We can’t run without volunteers. We are 100 percent volunteers. We are run 100 percent by the community. Volunteers, like Mary, come in and help unload the food truck and help put it (the food) away,” she said. “She puts the baskets together and the food bags for the people. She knows how many adults get what and how many people get what,” she said.

Yukon Sharing is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. It is at 4 N. Sixth St.

For information about the pantry or to volunteer, call 354-9456.

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