Local woman honored for community service
For more than a decade, Edie Heller has coordinated the toy and food drives of the Roamin Angels Car Club in Grass Valley during Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Last month, the Salvation Army recognized her community service with the Others Award – a prize conferred on an individual or a group for “its extraordinary spirit of service to others or the Salvation Army or their community,” according to Christine Burton, administrative aide to the community relations director at the western territory headquarters of Salvation Army.
“I’m thrilled,” Heller said. “I wasn’t expecting an award and didn’t know anything about it. I feel very honored and I’m more than happy to tell people I have received it.”
Heller began performing social service in Los Angeles as a swimming instructor. Once she moved to Grass Valley 22 years ago, she became involved in groups such as the Nevada County Certified Grower’s Market and later with the Roamin Angels Car Club.
The Roamin Angels have organized the toy and food drives during the holidays for years, Heller said.
“We do fundraisers and half the money goes toward buying presents,” she said.
Heller and her husband, Bud, drive to K-Mart and buy the toys, she said. Heller, as the coordinator, takes personal care to see the right toy reaches the right person.
About 400 to 500 families receive food and toys at Christmas and food during Thanksgiving, Heller said. The Salvation Army approves the families to receive the gifts.
“I think the award is very well-deserved,” said Ron Cherry, president of the Roamin Angels Car Club. “I appreciate that the Salvation Army has recognized her work. She hasn’t had a Christmas for several years, because she has dedicated herself to the toy drive at Christmas and the food drives at Christmas and Thanksgiving.”
Heller’s hard work pays off, she said, with “the fact that we are able to give these kids something they wouldn’t otherwise have.”
“Every year, there’s always one family that makes it worthwhile and fully appreciate what we try to do,” Heller said. “Someone always comes up and says, ‘If it hadn’t been for you, my children wouldn’t have had anything for Christmas.”
To contact Soumitro Sen, e-mail email@example.com or call 477-4229.
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