RMNAAFA Member Spotlight: Jan Andrus

Rocky Mountain NAAFA member Jan Andrus likes to make sure no one goes hungry. Jan's labor of love has been to oversee the task of preparing, packaging, and delivering 170 noontime meals to Littleton area seniors. As Director of the Town of Littleton Cares, Meals on Wheels program, Jan makes sure there is a volunteer driver for each of the 14 routes she's established to efficiently deliver the nourishing, hot meals Monday through Friday. Jan oversees nearly 16,000 volunteer hours a year in order to provide 40,000 meals to seniors and the disabled in the Littleton area. She also oversees the annual budget of $155,000. With no state or federal funding, Jan has been very resourceful in coming up with the needed fund to keep the program solvent. But find the money she does and the Littleton community is all the richer for her efforts.

The Meals on Wheels program provides homebound people with nourishing food and social contact. This helps improve heath and provides a sense of security and pleasure for its recipients. Though it is a common practice for other area programs to put people on a waiting list for meals, Jan would never let someone in her program area wait. Jan's response is "People die while they're on waiting lists."

In honor of her work with Meals on Wheels Jan was named Citizen of the Year in 1993 from South Metro Denver Realtors Association and received the same honor in 1996 from the Littleton Elks.

There is much to Jan's life before her work with Meals on Wheels. After over two years in a three-year nursing program, she decided that nursing was not her calling. She then spent 12 years in a convent, which she also realized was not for her either. She studied to work in the dental field, which she did for three years in Des Moines, Iowa. After a five-year courtship, she married and moved with her new husband to Littleton, Colorado. There they raised three children while they ran a commercial cleaning company. Her three children have produced eight grandchildren, whom she speaks of with much love and pride.

Jan plays the piano and the harmonica and likes to "dance like no one is watching." She says of herself, "I am just a person trying to live and love and be happy." And that she does, very well.

Jan was a member of the old Rocky Mountain NAAFA chapter. Lucky for us she renewed her membership when it reformed in February 1999. Jan is a "behind-the-scenes" type of member that shies away from the spotlight, but not the hard work. We are lucky to have this productive member to look to as an example of how much one person can do to make a difference.

The Member Spotlight column is the work of Patti Kelly.

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