Extraordinary Volunteer: Eleanore Rubinstein of Store to Door

Helping seniors and those with disabilities live full, independent lives

By Margaret Seiler October 20, 2015 Published in the November 2015 issue of Portland Monthly

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Image: Molly Mendoza

Talking with Eleanore Rubinstein, it’s easy to be impressed by the numbers: age 102; four children, seven grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren, and one great-great; a 7-year-old dachshund, Sophie, adopted when Rubinstein was 95. And then there are the hundreds of hours she’s tallied as a volunteer with Store to Door, calling to get grocery lists and just be a friendly, familiar voice for the local nonprofit’s disabled or home-bound clients.

“Clients really enjoy the interaction with someone close to their age,” says volunteer and outreach manager Barb McDowell. “I’ve heard her on the phone when they try to guess how old she is: ‘No,, higher.’ She just has a great rapport.”

Rubinstein says she’d love to go on a grocery delivery run and meet some of the people she’s gotten to know on the phone, but she’ll have to hitch a ride. “My children asked me not to drive,” she says. “I’m fine doing it, but I understand their concern.” So far her daughter’s always been free to take her to her weekly shift at Store to Door’s Multnomah Village office, but Rubinstein has a backup plan: “Uber! I’ve got it set up. I just haven’t used it yet.”

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