Saturday, June 23, 2012

See You Later, Brenda (and Pete and Samantha)

by John Aldrich

In 2005 a star burst onto the firmament at ANE when Brenda Carey, newly arrived in the Heber City area, was looking for an organization with which she could volunteer. Brenda quickly became deeply involved with the program, taking on the huge responsibility of rug show volunteer coordinator almost immediately and then serving as Linda's assistant for several years until her daughter, Samantha, was born in 2009.

Liked by everyone, Brenda brought to all of her roles at ANE her talent for organization and efficiency. This helped to bring a renewed spirit of volunteerism to the warehouse as well as the rug show. She spent many hours working behind the scenes helping Linda in Park City and also took over some of the food run responsibilities in order to somewhat reduce Linda's burden.

Her genial husband, Pete, joined her on many of the food runs where he was a great asset on the box crew, sometimes serving as the logistical director. And it wasn't just because he had a 3/4-ton pickup truck that we liked having him around.

After Samantha's arrival in early 2009, Brenda's involvement with ANE was necessarily interrupted, but as soon as she was able, she again started to help Linda in Park City as much as possible. In 2010 Samantha was able to join Pete and Brenda on a food run to Oljato and Navajo Mountain. This went so well that she attended 2 additional food runs where she was a great hit with everyone, volunteers as well as Elders.

Now, Pete has a new job and the family will be moving to Colorado. Brenda has just completed yoga teacher training, so can look forward to something of a new career herself. We will greatly miss all of them.

Here are a few photos highlighting Brenda's time at ANE:

The first photo I have of Brenda shows her at the rug show in 2005 where she is already working as volunteer coordinator.

By spring of 2007 she had started assisting Linda on food runs. Here she greets Jean Fatt at the Oljato run.

Brenda started taking her turn at the microphone, as she does here, introducing volunteers at the Tsaile food run in May 2007.

At the same food run, she poses with a happy preschooler who has received a child's gift package.

In late June 2007 ANE sponsored a celebration for centenarians across the reservation. Brenda played a role at this event.

At the spring 2008 food run at Oljato, a group of performers from Monument Valley High School were invited to sing and dance for us. After they were finished, everyone joined together in some more dancing.

Later that spring at the Many Farms food run Brenda passes out food certificates to the Elders.

Brenda's parents were visiting at the time of the rug show in 2008. Here her mother joined her to help at the volunteer check-in desk.

After her hiatus from ANE following the birth of Samantha, Brenda returned to the food runs with the whole family in August 2010. Here they are during introductions at the Navajo Mountain food run.

At this food run they were able to visit with their adopted Elder, Jerry Smallcanyon.

Samantha returned for two more food runs - this one in March 2011, where volunteers are gathered on the patio at the San Juan Inn in Mexican Hat before leaving for Oljato.

And again in August 2011 where Samantha helps her mother demonstrate how to use the shovel that each male Elder received at the Oljato food run.

Brenda's mother, Mary, prefers saying, "See You Later" to "Goodbye" since it implies a more hopeful outcome at a time of parting. We're confident that we'll see Brenda, and Pete, and Samantha again soon.

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