By Charles James
If most of us are honest, we don’t do nearly as much for others in need as we should, but we rationalize that we are “just too busy,” although much of what we do falls in the category of “busy work” and “self-serving activity.”
Fortunately for our community there are people like Olga Rojas of Bishop, who was invited to speak at a recent Lions Club Luncheon. Rojas is an example of someone who unselfishly lives her life for others and not only for herself.
This extraordinary community volunteer has battled a series of life-threatening illnesses that would easily serve as an excuse for most of us to take it easy and not become involved in the problems of others.
Olga has battled multiple sclerosis and Stage 4 cancer over the past several years, but rather than turn inward and feeling sorry for herself, she took an opposite approach—she chooses to serve others with needs lesser and greater than her own.
In his introduction of Olga at the Lions Club, Dr. Stacey Brown of the Northern Inyo Hospital read from The Inyo Register’s Inyo County Profile for 2015-16 which noted that Olga was presented the Patriot Award on May 12 for sustained extraordinary service from 2009 to 2016 by the Long Beach Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing Program, which comes to the Bishop area for an annual gathering of war veterans suffering from PTSD seeking the peace and calm of the outdoors.
Having lost two brothers in the Vietnam War and with many other family members having served in the armed forces, Olga honors their memory by supporting veterans’ causes and serving on the VFW Auxiliary, supporting homeless veterans and participating in the Quilts of Valor that makes quilts for veterans.
She also does fund-raising for the Wounded Warrior Center Project in Mammoth Lakes.
As if all this was not enough Olga is also a member of the Eastern Sierra Breast Cancer Alliance and mentor’s cancer patients.
“Why do I do this?” Olga posed as a question to the Lions Club member.
“Because it is the right thing to do. Everyone needs kindness and compassion … and a human touch to get through difficult times.”
She ended her talk saying, “This is my heart. This is my calling.” And then asked others to join her.