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Jefferson Award Winner: Alice Techel

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La Crescent, Minn. (WXOW)- Neighbors in Action, based in La Crescent, got its start in 2007 as a totally volunteer organization to meet the needs of older adults so they could stay in their homes. It has grown and expanded since, but one thing has remained. And that is a very special volunteer, Alice Techel.

“She just goes so far above and beyond to do things for people just because she’s a good and kind and caring person. She doesn’t want anything out of this. All she wants is to help someone else,” said Sandy Graves the Executive Director of Neighbors in Action.

Fast forward 12 years and the number of organizations Alice volunteers with has grown. She is an active United Way volunteer, she serves as a teacher with Junior Achievement of Wisconsin, something she’s done for over a decade.  She’s spent 20 years as a volunteer at the Healthy Community Partners Food
Shelf in La Crescent, and has also headed up the USPS Stamp Out Hunger food drive for the last few years in La Crescent.

And she’s recruited others. Mike Wolden began volunteering at the La Crescent food shelf after he met Alice.
“She is giving, big-hearted, she’s just beautiful… inside and out,” said Mike. “She’s just a great person.”

The pair connected at church and soon after, began dating. Mike says, before Alice, he’d never met anyone who lives to serve others and that’s why he nominated her for a Jefferson Award. “She’ll see someone in a parking lot not able to get their groceries in their truck and she’ll have to run over and help them,” he added, smiling.

Alice comes from a family of nine and says from a young age, she was taught to help others and that volunteering is an important part of living in a community, even if it’s not always convenient. “That’s probably the hardest part of everything,” laughed Alice. “I do work full time so it is hard to squeeze it all in, but I try to make it a priority because it’s something that I feel is very important.”

Alice, who sees opportunities to help almost anywhere she looks, encourages others to seek them out as well.
She says that can be something as simple as reading a book to a child in school, which happens to be another one of her volunteer activities.

Congratulations to Alice who has been named July’s Jefferson Award Winner!

Andrea Albers

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