MAUSTON (WKOW)-- Each month, we recognize people who volunteer in our communities and inspire others to give back. It's called the Jefferson Award.
We honor a husband and wife team who have dedicated years to helping those less fortunate and facing disasters in Juneau and Monroe counties. Chris and Carol Zindorf are this month's Jefferson Award recipients.
Chris and Carol Zindorf are happy to help to sort donated clothes here at Grateful Hearts in Mauston in Juneau County.
"I like helping people," said Chris Zindorf. "That's what it's all about."
People down on their luck come to Grateful Hearts for household supplies and clothing. The Zindorfs volunteer with Grateful Hearts and a homeless shelter-assistance program called Lend a Hand.
"A lot of people don't think there are homeless unless they see people living in boxes," said Carol.
"The thing that we don't have bigger cities have are shelters," said Chris. "We don't have a shelter."
Chris and Carol have served as volunteers for years now. In addition to volunteering here, this time of year they also prepare taxes for low income families. They've also responded to disasters through the American Red Cross.
"When it touches you, you can't not do it," said Carol.
Carol started volunteering with the Red Cross in 1980. Chris started in 1996. That common goal of helping others brought them together. They have been married 11 years now.
After years of helping Juneau County's Disaster Action Team grow, The Zindorfs have turned over the reins to other volunteers so they can focus on Grateful Hearts and Lend a Hand.
"People have asked me, 'Why do you do this?' I say why wouldn't I," said Carol.
"One of the positives about volunteering is when you see people you have helped thank you for it," said Chris.
"I hope that we can make a real difference," said Carol.
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