Aug. 2015 Jefferson Award: Roseann DeBot - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Aug. 2015 Jefferson Award: Roseann DeBot


STEVENS POINT (WAOW) - Roseann DeBot has been involved with Operation Bootstrap in Stevens Point since the 1960's. It was formed to help a migrant family wanting to remain in Stevens Point. The effort eventually transformed into an organization aimed at helping hundreds of needy families.

For her selfless efforts with Operating Bootstrap, DeBot is the August winner of the Jefferson Award, which recognizes volunteerism.

In the early days, Operation Bootstrap operated out of Debot's basement. Twenty years ago, it moved into a building with office space and a warehouse. With the additional space, many services have been added. Bootstrap helps some of the neediest community members with food, clothing and shelter.

"We help with utilities if people are in danger of having them shut off. We help with rent and prescription medications and we have our work program which includes our transportation program of gas money and even small car repairs," Debot said.

Operation Bootstrap relies on the help of hundreds of volunteers each year. Several wrote Jefferson Award nominations for Debot, highlighting her selflessness and willingness to help others.

"The way that she interacts with people that come here and interacts with them with kindness and humility  makes them feel important," Sue Hall said.

DeBot says her 40-plus years volunteering at Operation Bootstrap has been rewarding and humbling.

 "You see what a great need there is. You see such nice people having problems and then you question why they are having problems and you aren't," DeBot said.

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