Last Wednesday I attended the funeral of my friend Nora Salazar. On behalf of myself and the Madera Christmas Basket program I wanted to add my own tribute and my thanks for all she did for us.
The article about Nora in Tuesday’s Madera Tribune (June 5) mentioned that she had worked for several years on the Christmas Basket Program, bringing gifts to underprivileged children. While that is true, it barely scratches the surface of what she did for me and for the program. She was a pillar for the Baskets, and while I know that I thanked her, I also know that I didn’t do it nearly enough.
As a donor, Nora was incredibly generous. Nora gave from her own money to support us in good times and more recently in lean times. She also sought donations from others, especially the Latinas Unidas.
She had a tremendous ability to organize and was always willing to work in the trenches. Every year when we took signups Nora would come with family members and assorted volunteers to get the work done. That was always a blessing to me since otherwise I would have been overwhelmed.
Nora’s energy and enthusiasm never seemed to run out. Every year about a week before we distributed, Nora would show up with her daughter Jody, Jody’s husband and a bunch of young volunteers and they would put together hundreds of boxes and fill them with the food we were going to distribute. Nora would be the first one there and the last to leave.
On the day of the distribution Nora was our crowd control, mediating disputes, and listening to hard-luck stories about lost tickets and various other mixups. If she had any flaw it was that she was too tender hearted, which sometimes made life more complicated for those of us who are more rule oriented.
I know that I now must say goodbye to Nora. I couldn’t say goodbye without also saying thanks for all she did — thank you, Nora.
Madera Christmas Baskets