Debbie Kreps is the Monday front desk volunteer at the La Pine Activity Center, greeting those who walk through our doors and pointing them in the right direction for what they need
“I started out two years ago by volunteering at Bingo on Monday nights, and then just kind of worked into running the front desk,” says Debbie. “I usually just come in one morning per week, but I will fill in for others when needed.
Originally from Newberg, Oregon, she and her husband moved to La Pine a little over four years ago.
“I really like the climate in La Pine and we needed to get out of the city,” says Debbie. “We would come here camping every summer for about five years and one year we just decided that we didn’t want to go back home!”
Before retiring, Debbie worked in food service at George Fox University for 19 years, right up until the day before she moved to La Pine. Her husband, Ray, worked for Chrysler Corporation also for 19 years, and was retired for 10 years before they moved here. Now he is a substitute teacher in Gilchrist, La Pine and Bend.
“I love being here and meeting the people who walk through our doors,” says Debbie. “It’s nice to chat and get to know them and I’ve met some truly wonderful people here at the Center. “
Recently the La Pine Senior Center changed its name to the La Pine Activity Center, with the goal of promoting more exclusivity within the community. The Center is here to fill the needs of the whole community.
“From my experience working at George Fox University, I think it’s beneficial to have older people interacting with those much younger than themselves,” says Debbie. “Older people feel younger, more energized, when they’re around those younger than themselves. I think the mixture of seniors and younger people benefits them both. There’s so much more opportunity having this place be an “activity center” because it draws more people from our community in, and if a senior needs help, there are younger folks who can help them out; conversely, younger people can learn from their elder’s wisdom. It’s a win-win for both groups.”
“This Activity Center is an excellent place to come for an exercise class, have lunch three days a week and visit with people, and just get OUT. In the winter, people come here and get warm, sit, relax, read or watch the fire in the ‘living room” we have in the front of the building. It’s a great landing spot.”