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Name: Johnny Yaklich
Family: Three children, Gayle, John and Jill; a brother and his wife, Bill and Jeannie; seven grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.
How long have you lived in the Yuba-Sutter area? Since 1937 — I was in seventh grade when we moved here from Crested Butte, Colo.
Hobbies, interests: I like to watch basketball, like to hunt and I have a punching bag. I was a boxer in the Marine Corps during World War II.
For what groups do you volunteer? Every other week, I host a dinner out here (at my house) for people — we have praises, prayer requests and a small devotional and fellowship and good food.
My wife, Grace, and I used to have new people from church (Hallwood Church of the Nazarene) over for dinner. She died in November 2006, and in January 2007 I got to thinking that this is what we need. We started with about eight to 10 people and now its about 20 to 35 people at a time. About six or seven churches are involved. It's a potluck, but I supply a main dish and make the ice cream.
Once a month, with the Hallwood church, I go the Twin Cities Rescue Mission in Marysville and cook. Friends got me involved.
I just hauled four boxes of oranges to the mission from a neighboring farm and am a greeter at the church every Sunday.
For the church, I've coached softball for a number of years and in the past coached basketball and had a little clinic for younger kids before the games — I used to volunteer once a week at the church's gym.
When my wife passed away, they wanted me to get grief counseling. I didn't need it — I have hope that I will meet my wife in heaven one day. I just went for four meetings.
There were other people in the group who were a basket case. One young man told me he was just sitting around watching TV and doing nothing. The guy had a car — he should go out and make someone happy. He needed God in his life. I invited people to dinner, but didn't hear from any of them.
By my talking, maybe it will help someone else, maybe give somebody the idea (about volunteering). If you're able to get around, you can't sit around on your fanny.
When I was working, it was 16 to 18 hours a day. At least on Sunday I would do something with my family. I wish I could have slowed down.
How do you fit volunteering into your schedule? I am retired. I do what I want on the ranch. I have macular degeneration and take care of myself.
Words of advice: The mission is a good place to start out volunteering. My brother's wife is at a care center. Residents there are just hungry for other people to stop and chat.
Quote: From volunteering, you get "the satisfaction and joy of making somebody happy."