Jefferson Award Winner: Verlyn Arneson - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Jefferson Award Winner: Verlyn Arneson


Eau Claire (WQOW) - It's not often you find a volunteer as dedicated as the one you're about to meet. This man has devoted over a decade to helping others. We're introducing you to Verlyn Arneson, this month's recipient of the Jefferson Award for Public Service.

For Verlyn Arneson this is a familiar routine: hopping behind the wheel and down the road to Chaput Produce, his first stop.

"I think it's probably, at least 10 years he's been coming around here," says Mark Chaput, owner of Chaput produce.

Verlyn was after the distressed produce, things that were still edible, but couldn't be sold in stores because of bumps or blemishes. 

"Some days he'd show up with his little car and we'd fill that thing up with stuff, other days he'd have his old pick up he'd come in and we'd load pallets of stuff on there," says Chaput.

"I think they were slipping me some good things once in a while too," says Verlyn.

After some cleaning and sorting, Verlyn took the fruits and veggies to area food pantries, he'd pick up bread along the way and deliver to around 30 families.

A knee replacement has stopped Verlyn from cleaning and distributing produce, but he still makes his rounds dropping off bread.

"There's a lot of needy families around and the more I got into it the more I kept going.  You could just see there's a big need out there," says Verlyn. "It keeps you going and I like to help people, like I say, I like to help people I enjoy doing that."

"A few words to describe my grandpa... would be loving, funny, kind... amazing," says Jasen Arneson, who nominated his grandfather for the award.

Jasen Arneson says he's looked up to his grandfather his whole life, and is proud of the many things he does in the community, which includes hosting a bible study at the Eau Claire County jail.

"Some of those guys they've really been through it, but they've got open hearts and enjoy it, we take the guitar along and play some music," says Verlyn.

"He's an amazing person and deserves a lot of credit for it and hopefully other people will find inspiration in him," Jasen says.

Verlyn is also involved in mission work, in recent years he's traveled to Nicaragua to help build a church. Congratulations again to Verlyn! Each month we choose a recipient for the Jefferson Award, and we need your help, click here to fill out a nomination form.

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