Norma started her 12 years of volunteering with Meals on Wheels in 1996. Since then she saw a need at the AWARE Food Bank and has been volunteering at that site for seven years. She volunteers at least 24 hours a month at the food bank and picks up food items from the Estates.
Prior to her volunteering, she lived the life of a military wife. Her husband was on active duty in the Army and served in World War II, Korea and Vietnam with tours of duty in Japan and Germany. She has two daughters, who also served in the military, four grandsons and four great-grandsons, who visit often with her.
Norma made a career as an executive assistant in Sacramento, Calif., where she provided support for a major department store. When she finally decided it was time to retire she took a European trip for two weeks. She enjoyed her time there, but quickly learned that her replacement had up and quit, so she returned for three weeks to train a new employee.
Norma is still active with Meals on Wheels and AWARE Food Bank, and is also as a blood drive volunteer, where she coordinates with staff to assist where she is needed.
She enjoys visiting with the people, but at times there isnt much down time to visit. During Christmas she sees more people who appreciate the small and additional items that are received. Some special requests sometimes are accommodated, if the items are available. She commends Wilbur, AWARE supervisor, who is a hard worker, fair about the items that are requested and is committed to the program. She will, on occasion, pickup and deliver baked goods to AWARE, but her main task at AWARE is preparing the food boxes and carts for the families. She will oversee some of the tasks and teach the teens the process of how AWARE prepares the baskets a true mentor.
Norma finds other areas of enjoyment by creating designs out of cloth such as door stops, dolls and clowns. She enjoys her crafts and assists at The Estates events with her crocheting, knitting, quilting, sewing and hand embroidery. And while her husband was stationed in Europe, she learned how to knit the European style. It hasnt slowed her down to learn new creativity. Even now she is trying her hand at loom knitting.
She believes that being active is what has kept her in good physical health and she will continue volunteering, crafts and home chores.
If money was not object, she would donate to many charities that are very dear to her heart, such as the paralyzed and disables veterans, American Cancer Society, AWARE Food Bank, the American Heart Association, Easter Seals and few other special causes that she sees would benefit from a generous donation.
On an additional note, she would advise to other soon-to-retire individuals to travel for a while, stay away from TV and keep physically moving. Do something to keep the mind sharp and to do things the old-fashioned, manual way.