Jackie Terauds lit up like a child on Christmas when she stopped by Peace House Community on a recent Tuesday evening. Her, along with husband George and son Mark, have been pouring their hearts into Loaves & Fishes’ guests in a variety of ways for 34 years.
Jackie and George Terauds first started as volunteers with their son Mark falling in love with the Loaves & Fishes kitchen at just 10-years-old. Fifteen years ago, they decided to go a step further with their time and generosity. With support of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Eden Prairie they started running an annual coat drive.
“We were driving home from a site at the end of November. People were in lightweight coats and that wasn’t OK to us so that’s how the coat drive started,” explained Jackie.
Jackie said the coat drive is her favorite day of the year, but they wanted to do even more, and realized many guests were asking for underwear and socks. She said the family begins accepting donations four weeks leading up to Mother’s Day as a nod to their mothers preaching the importance of clean underwear.
“This year has been amazing. I have collected and sorted 597 pairs of underwear and 348 pairs of socks,” Jackie said. “They are all sized and tied with bows on every one of them. This is exciting for us. This is our first venture back now that we are vaccinated.”
The socks and underwear were split up between visits to Peace House and Holy Rosary. Each guest greeted with a welcoming smile. George said he is inspired to do this work as a first-generation immigrant.
“My family came to this country in 1950 and if it wasn’t for people helping our family, we wouldn’t have made it. I see the importance of helping others because of how many did it for us when our family came to America.”