Volunteering is a habit for Minden woman

Rosemarie Middendorf has never raised her hand to volunteer.

"It just sort of happened," she said of her volunteerism. It has been happening since 1958.

Middendorf publicizes events for the Carson Valley Community Food Closet and its projects, including Project Santa Claus and the food closet's annual fund-raiser, the Wacky Waddler Wiver Wace.

"I help people to help us," she said.

Middendorf, 75, started volunteering for the flood closet in 1993, when she worked at the Wacky Waddlers Wiver Wace.

The rubber ducky race is held in conjunction with Carson Valley Days.

The food closet, which operates year-round, provides food to needy Carson Valley residents.

She helps the food closet's Project Santa Claus each year by writing press releases describing the program and publicizing locations for Angel Trees.

Angel Trees are placed at businesses in the Carson Valley each year before Thanksgiving. The trees contain gift requests for children 15 and younger. People choose a name, buy a gift, then the gifts are purchased, wrapped, and returned to the tree.

Middendorf matches the children's requests with the gifts, which are distributed to families the week before Christmas.

"There are a lot of people who can pay their rent, but can't pay for Christmas presents for their kids," Middendorf said.

Project Santa Claus also provides one item of gently used clothing and a new book for each child in the program.

Now that the project is in full gear, Middendorf volunteers at the food closet every day with her husband, Burl.

"Anything you can do for a child that is beneficial, it is worth it," she said.

When Middendorf first heard about Project Santa Claus, she wanted to know more about it. Before she knew it, she began volunteering.

"She has been an important part of Project Santa Claus and the food closet for many years," said Marilyn Malkmus, project director.

Middendorf said she doesn't think about volunteering a lot, she just does it.

"Volunteering has become a habit to me," she said.


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