When you first talk with Sara Garrou, you’ll notice that she uses the word “helping” frequently. It doesn’t take long to realize that it is a value that lies at the very core of her person. As a young child Sara knew she was a mountain girl at heart. It didn’t take her long to make that dream a reality.
Born in Chicago, IL and raised in Peoria, Sara fell in love with the Colorado Mountains when she was just seven years old. The first memory she has of visiting was a family trip to Winter Park for her birthday. “My mom tells the story that, as soon as we left, I cried and cried because I missed “my mountains,” Sara recounts fondly.
In 2005 she found her perfect landing spot in Evergreen with her daughter and two sons. Now, as the Volunteer Coordinator at the Seniors’ Resource Center in Evergreen, she stays active with one of the most important organizations for Evergreen’s older adult community. “I see a lot of great things going on in Evergreen. That’s what makes me want to stay here.”
After graduating from high school in Tulsa, OK, Sara went on to college at Baylor University in Waco, TX. A summer job at Rocky Mountain Village Easter Seals Camp brought her back to her beloved Colorado Mountains. After that she never left Colorado. She found her niche here in Evergreen where she feels that part of what makes it such a great place is living in a community where you know everyone here wants to be here, and that attitude creates a lifestyle of participating in the programs that better the whole area.
Sara recently completed her degree in Human Services from Metro State University. While pursuing her degree her life became limited to family, work and school. “I feel like I can breathe a little bit now,” she says, as she also admits, “But I love school.”
Being a part of the Evergreen community is truly a family affair for Sara. Her parents are also residents and she enjoys having them close enough to participate with her three children – a daughter who’s a senior at Evergreen High School, Freshman son at EHS and her youngest son, a seventh grader at Evergreen Middle School.
Growing up, Sara’s mother was a nurse and her father was a priest, fostering a family environment that was focused on outreach. “We’ve always been in the helping field,” she says of her family. Sara also married EHS graduate Justin Becker. Becker, a Business Banker at the Chase Bank branch in Bergen Park, is an active member in the Evergreen Area Chamber of Commerce.
“I’ve always been drawn to helping people,” Sara comments on her current work with Evergreen’s Senior Resource Center, “It’s a real passion of mine.” Sara started with the SRC Evergreen in 2008 doing “a little bit of everything.” Now Sara is the Volunteer Coordinator working with nearly 200 local residents that give their time. “I feel like there are a lot of people who need a little extra help and don’t always get it. I’m here to intervene where I can.”
It is hard for Sara to take the spotlight and talk about herself without mentioning all the wonderful work the volunteers do for the Center and for the community. “There are members of this community doing things every day to help others in the area. They’re not asking for recognition, they just do it.” Evergreen has that small-town feel that makes you feel connected. It’s a very generous community when it comes to giving of both resources and time. “
Sara is very proud of the work that is done by Seniors Resource Center now entering its 34th year. She coordinates the volunteers that assist with the center's many programs including: the Adult Day Program providing socialization and recreational activities for seniors; Meals on Wheels providing free meals for homebound older adults Monday through Friday; In-Home Care Program for non-medical home-care needs; Friendly Visitor Program where volunteers come in once a week to help around the house, run errands or just provide some companionship to people who spend a lot of their time home alone; the Transportation program for door-through-door assessable local transportation and the Minor Home Repair Program.
Sara hopes that her position will bring more visibility to all that is offered for seniors in the area. She loves that there is such a collaborative effort between the organizations that provide for the older adult population. “This becomes such a reactionary resource where people call when they need something and don’t know where else to go,” says Sara. She would like to see residents use the resources available for more preventative care.