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Local charity volunteer nominated for Jefferson Award

January 27, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
For years, Ed Rose has been making rounds gathering food for those in need. It's a calling that he received four decades ago.

It's his strong belief in helping those in need and his years of service that inspired fellow volunteers to nominate Rose for a Jefferson Award.

"It was an easy choice for us," said MEND program director Maggie Torres. "We have lots of wonderful volunteers and we try our best to recognize them in various manners, but we truly feel Ed deserves this award just because of the great, great stepping stone that he took and led to such a wonderful organization."

From a garage to a state of the art facility, MEND, which stands for Meeting Each Need with Dignity, helps people with everything from food to health care.

"It just started with furniture and clothing, and then we got a storefront, and then it just kept growing," Rose said.

Now, Rose feels the need is greater than ever.

"We have what I call 'new homeless,' and that's in the last two to three years where people have lost their home. They don't want to be on the streets, and in that group is a lot of children," Rose said.

One thing that MEND tries to do is making the process of asking for help as dignified as possible. It's something that Rose has stressed from the beginning.

"They're very sad, they're beaten down, they've been disappointed for a long time," he said. "And if we treat them properly, we can help repair or rebuild their self esteem."

Rose has no intentions of stopping now. He'll keep making the rounds, and keep helping as long as there is a need and as long as he can.


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