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Paynesville Press - July 26, 2006

New director at service center

Allison Janssen, a volunter at the Paynesville Area Community Service Center for over a year, became the new director of the facility in July. She worked with former director Pam Williquette in June, with Williquette, who is leaving to plant a church, acting as a volunteer in July.

Allison Janssen Janssen, who filled in for Williquette at times last year, was urged by Williquette to apply for the job, she said.

"I said when she (Williquette) left for November (last year): 'Your shoes are too big to fill.' And she said, 'Nope, you can do it,' " said Janssen.

She has already learned more about the job, she added. "I love it down here," said Janssen from the new center, opened last fall, at the corner of Railroad Street and Lake Avenue. "Everybody works together. It's just great."

The Paynesville Area Community Service Center serves as the local foodshelf, but this is only one of its functions. It also offers clothes, household items, and furniture. It provides seasonal needs, too, such as holiday meals for Thanksgiving and Christmas as well as Christmas presents, which are used as birthday gifts if supplies allow.

This year, Janssen plans to provide school supplies for 70 children in need. "Our goal this year is a full backpack for every kid, and maybe a pair of shoes," she said.

Hours at the Paynesville Area Community Service Center for clients are each Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. (except for the fourth Wednesday of each month, when hours are from 2-6 p.m.).

Volunteers work from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays and accept drop-offs of food, clothing, and household items. Janssen said that she would like to add a Saturday workday each month at the center in order to allow more volunteers to work there and to allow drop-offs on weekends.

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