Evelyn Mount: 32 Years of Feeding the Needy

The line leading to Evelyn Mount's home on northeast Reno's Cannan Street stretched all the way back to and around the corner. Standing in the bitter cold, each was there in hopes of getting the makings for a Thanksgiving dinner.

It was a striking visual reminder of the need this economy has created. Up at the head of the line, a small army of volunteers handed out turkeys and chickens and all the fixings to people who might otherwise go without this holiday.

Presiding over it all, 84-year-old Evelyn Mount.

Evelyn began this annual drive to feed the hungry 32 years ago. In that time she has seen the need for what she does grow, but never like this.

"I can't control the need," she says, "but every year it gets higher and higher. I've never seen it this bad."

Even as people leave with their food more is arriving. Individual donations. People with more than they need sharing the holiday.

Mark Lundahl drove up and handed a volunteer a frozen turkey. "I had an extra," he tells us. So, he set out to find Evelyn's house. "They told me to just look for the line."

His donation is welcome. Every year it seems Evelyn struggles to meet the need. This year she has a worried look on her face as she glances at the supply in what was once her garage.

Those with large families are leaving with turkeys. Others with chickens and by the end of the day, some of those at the back of the line may get neither.

"I've never had to worry about running out of turkeys or chickens before."

She says she learned the practice of personal charity from her parents. Now nothing, not even personal tragedy seems to be able to distract her from this mission.

Earlier this month her grandson was murdered, a crime that today remains unsolved.

"i've never had anything like this happen in my family," she says. "I'm 84 and I've always had my children, grand children and great grandchildren around me."

Deeply religious, she says she hopes the redemption of those responsible. "I hope God blesses them."

Evelyn is the first to say all this is not about her. It's all the people helping, donating. That may be true, but it's hard to imagine it happening without her.

"I just want to thank all those who are giving," she says. "And I hope everyone has a blessed Thanksgiving."

Want a reason to be thankful this holiday? Be thankful we have people like Evelyn Mount.

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