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Senior Services Group Serves Fuel, Food To Those In Need In Nevada County

ALTA SIERRA (CBS13) — Fuel is running low as nearly eight thousand people still without power in Nevada County.

Whether it's wood or propane, one agency is filling tanks in more ways than one.

It's the sound many are waiting for as the power outage continues in Nevada County: propane tanks being filled.

"We don't run our furnace because it takes too much juice," said Libby Zuniga.

Propane trucks were winding their way to areas that were previously unpassable after downed trees blocked access.

"It was a mess you can't even believe it it looked like a war zone," Zuniga said.

Janeth Marroletti has been without propane for five days.

"The propane has been a big issue in this community," she said. "The county is aware of it. The state is aware of it."

While authorities look for solutions, Maroletti, who works with Gold Country Senior Services, is stepping in.

"What can we do now to help those people that have no access to food, no access to water, or access to leave their house?" she asked.

The nonprofit works with a group of senior volunteers who are a cut above the rest.

The seniors get calls about downed trees, they cut them up and then store them for next year.

"We take it to the yard and we split it and we put it into a pile and we have several piles out there," said 74-year-old, Jerry Westfall, who was cleaning up one woman's driveway in Alta Sierra.

He added, "We actually donated two of our piles, 30 cords, to what the county is doing, which is providing free wood to people. Last year, we processed over 300 cords of wood."

The remaining seven cords they have will go to seniors in need.

"We are all retirees and volunteers working more than we did when we were working," Westfall said jokingly.

The nonprofit serves 1,000 seniors in the area, 250 with Meals On Wheels.

"It really comes down to volunteers making the difference, identifying seniors in need," said Marroletti.

So whether it's prepping the food in church kitchens or cutting cords of wood to be distributed in a disaster, "A community will thrive if the foundation is the volunteers and then we all come together and figure out how to make it happen," Marroletti said.

It's a silver lining for seniors in their golden years looking to give back in the gold country.

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