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Positively Alaskan: Palmer senior has endless energy for helping others

Published: Jul. 24, 2020 at 8:28 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Jennifer McCrary is 75, or as she and her friends put it, 21 with 54 years of experience.

McCrary is on the board of directors for both Mat-Su Senior Services and the Palmer Lions Club. She spends her days volunteering for both organizations.

“I get up in the morning, thank God for being awake, and ask him to help me make someone happy,” she said.

She immigrated from England to the United States in 1964. When she got here, she made money sewing and working with garments.

It has come in handy for her latest project.

Mat-Su Senior Services was in need of gowns for their staff to wear as they entered homes of seniors with respite service help.

“We can’t live without her,” Bob Shaw, the board president at Mat-Su Senior Services, said. “She’s a go-getter, always willing to help. She’s just a wonderful person with a smile on her face no matter the circumstances.”

She teamed up with her friend and fellow Lion, Linda Neslund, who was already working to get more gowns to nearby hospitals in need of PPE. They called around to get donations of spare sheets. Their other friend, Rachel Paniwozik, had a machine that could cut fabric.

The pair was set.

“It’s giving back,” Neslund said. " Alaska has been an amazing place to me. It has treated us well.”

McCrary and Neslund receive help from other volunteers and organizations, and the effort has created 250 gowns.

“It makes me happy,” McCrary said. “When I wake up in the morning, if I can make one person smile during the daytime, then I’m happy.”

The pair is in need of sheet donations to make the gowns. Contact Linda Neslund at 907.746.2992 or email palmerak.lions@gmail.com to donate.

Copyright 2020 KTVF. All rights reserved.

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