Hearts the Size of Texas

RSVP Volunteers Jay & Nancy Bedolla

26-year residents of Porter County Jay and Nancy Bedolla are busy making an impact on their community. Nancy, who retired from Portage High School, and Jay, who is a concrete layer, both volunteer with the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP). They joined in 2015, after they saw the good that RSVP members were doing in the community.

In addition to dedicating time to RSVP, the Bedollas raise money for local food pantries. When Nancy was diagnosed with Lupus, she became discouraged because she couldn’t work anymore. To help her stay busy, Jay bought her a flower to plant in the backyard. Nancy’s garden grew into a beautiful sanctuary that is shared by friends and neighbors. Jay and Nancy even started the Garden Walk Project. Once a year, they open their yard to visitors; with a donation of any size, people can enjoy the garden and even take home a flower or plant of their own. All of the proceeds of the Garden Walk Project are donated to the local food pantry. With about 100 visitors on average, Jay and Nancy raise about $1,000 annually! Jay also donates produce from his vegetable garden.

The Bedollas have their own reasons for volunteering. Nancy grew up poor, and wants to help people who struggle like she did. Jay has a compassionate heart and hates to see people going without when he can help. Together, they form a perfect team. RSVP is lucky to have them!

Jay is an RSVP Special Events Volunteer and helps at volunteer fairs and events, and Nancy currently volunteers at the Memorial Opera House, RSVP Advisory Council, the Portage Township Food Pantry and The Answer for Pregnancy Aid.

For more information about RSVP and how to get involved, email Evelyn Harris, UWPC RSVP Director at evelyn@unitedwaypc.org.

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