They won’t forget

JOLEEN BAUMANN, founder of “Operation You’re Not Forgotten,” fills a care package last Thursday. While “Operation You’re Not Forgotten” is scaling back its efforts later this month, volunteers will still be working to visit residents and help them in any way they can. Photo / Per Peterson

With more people going out, ‘Operation You’re Not Forgotten’ is dialing things back a bit. However, it will still be a presence for people in need

By Per Peterson

“Operation You’re Not Forgotten” might be scaling back, but it certainly isn’t going away.

Joleen Baumann, who started the all-volunteer program in late March in response to stay at home orders handed down by the state in an effort to limit contact between people during the pandemic, said the program has begun a transition process where in a few weeks it will visit people twice a month, as opposed to every Saturday like it has been doing since March.

“Everybody’s been kind of getting out more, going to church, things like that, and we thought it wold be a good time to just kind of transition to the lower-needs,” Baumann said. “But we’re still gonna be calling people very week to check in on them, run errands for them.”

“Operation You’re Not Forgotten” has been reaching out and delivering care packages to 44 people (it is currently down to 39 as more and more, people are able to get out and about. Up to as many as 60 people have volunteered in some fashion — as many as 17 every week. Baumann recruited volunteers through Facebook and was happily surprised by the number of people who joined the group.

Every Saturday morning since March 28, those volunteers have delivered care packages that included hot meals supplied by Tracy Food Pride. Depending on donations, items typicaly include a welcome letter, a crossword puzzle and a pen for first-timers, a can of soup, tuna or oatmeal, fruit cups, apple sauce, one dessert, one snack Boost or Ensure drinks for anyone who might need such items, toilet paper, and a banana or other piece of fresh fruit. This all goes with a frozen meal and the hot meal.

See this week’s Headlight Herald for more on this article.