Bethel senior uses her free time to grocery shop for elderly residents of her home town who at high risk of COVID-19 effects. 

By Emily Rossing

During her study breaks, Justine Jaenisch brings groceries to seniors who are too vulnerable to go out into the community. In her hometown of Maynard, Minnesota, she delivers orders daily from Almich’s Market to seniors who have signed up for the free service.

“They’re at risk and they need people to help,” Jaenisch said.

Volunteering was part of a class requirement for Jaenisch, a graduated senior at Bethel, but to her it means so much more. She has built relationships with elderly members of her community, many of whom she sees every week, and says their thanks is enough of a reward for her help.

“Every person is just so grateful,” Jaenisch said. “That’s why I do it.”

Jaenisch graduated virtually with the rest of the class of 2020 last weekend and received a bachelor’s degree in political science. She is eager to use her newly learned skills outside Bethel.

“I just love meeting with people,” Jaenisch said. In politics, everyone has a story and everyone has something they want to change.”

While she doesn’t have a clear idea of her future, Jaenisch is ready to embrace the opportunities ahead. She plans to participate in an internship this summer on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. and hopes to return to Minnesota in the fall to potentially work on a campaign for the 2020 election.

For now, she is focused on doing whatever she can to help the seniors in her hometown, even if it’s just delivering groceries.

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