Everyday Heroes: Jean Pierce and Store to Door
PORTLAND, Ore. —
Jean Pierce has put a lot of miles on her shopping cart over the years.
The 91-year-old Portland woman has been a volunteer shopper for Store to Door since the early 1990s. Two days a week she comes to Fred Meyer to do grocery shopping for people who are home-bound in Multnomah County.
“I credit the fact that I’m still moving around on doing this,” Jean said, citing the exercise she gets walking the aisles of Fred Meyer for several hours each week.
Jean is one of dozens of volunteer shoppers and drivers who serve 400 home-bound seniors and people with disabilities through Store to Door every week.
“It’s not just about delivering food and access to healthy food,” Store to Door Executive Director Kiersten Ware said. “It’s also about nourishing social relationships.”
Kiersten said the non-profit tries to have the same volunteers interact with the same customers every week, gradually building a relationship.
“I don’t know how you could measure the value of the relationships that we have and the kind of connections that are created through the touches we make,” Kiersten said. “We know our clients. We have trusted relationships with them, so they’re more likely to tell us if they have an additional need.”
No one, Kiersten added, exemplifies Store to Door’s spirit of caring like Jean.
“If you were to ask me if there was a hero, someone I would want to follow in their footsteps, I would say it’s Jean,” Kiersten said.
Jean said despite her advancing age, she wants to keep volunteering with Store to Door for as long as she can.
“It makes me feel good to be doing something for somebody else,” Jean said, “to be helpful to somebody else. That’s it.”
Store to Door is a 501(c)3 non-profit.