Quiet Heroes: Helen Gonzales and Jan Turner | TheUnion.com

Quiet Heroes: Helen Gonzales and Jan Turner

The Union photoHelen Gonzales and Jan Turner
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Group they volunteer for: The Hospice of the Foothills Nevada City Thrift Store.

What they do for the group: Helen: I sort articles coming in and I clean all the jewelry and get it ready for sale.

Jan: I work in the sorting room and I process all of the antique linen that goes on the floor for sale.

How they got involved: Helen: Hospice helped with my parents in Southern California when they were terminally ill, so I came here to give back a little.

Jan: In 1989, my son passed away at the age of 28 and hospice helped me through the stages of grief. I retired from the County of Nevada, and then I came to work here.

Why they think this group’s work is important: Helen: Without hospice, the people who could not afford care could not get it.

Jan: Hospice knows no boundaries when it comes to helping.

The best thing that ever happened on this volunteer job was: Helen: The people I work with on Wednesday morning are super.

Jan: It has to be the people you work with and the interaction with the people on the floor you are able to help.

The rewards they get from this volunteer job are: Helen: It just makes me feel good.

Jan: It gives me a sense of accomplishment, of giving back to the community.

Other volunteer jobs they have done: Helen: I volunteer at Interfaith Food Ministry and for St. Patrick’s Catholic Church Youth Group.

Jan: I was on the board for the Nevada County Certified Growers Market and helped out the market manager on Saturdays.

I’ve lived in Nevada County: Helen: 11 years.

Jan: 27 years.

The most important job that faces us as a community is: Helen: We have to find ways to keep the youth of the community motivated. We have to watch out for each other.

Jan: Respect and commitment to each other and volunteer whenever you can.

I think volunteerism is important because: Helen: It’s a sense of accomplishment and giving back to the community.

Jan: It feeds your soul and your spirit.


Quiet Heroes appears each Thursday. If you know of a volunteer who is a quiet hero, call The Union newsroom at 273-9561.

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