‘That Little Helping Hand’

Elayn Cook, Grand Forks, with two of her rescue dogs. Cook volunteers to help people with their income tax, volunteers at the Humane Society and is active in her church. Photo credit: John Stennes/Grand Forks Herald.

When I sat down with Elayn Cook for our interview a few weeks ago, she was very adamant that she didn’t deserve a story written about her.

The 60-something retired tax preparation agent was nominated by her friend and fellow volunteer Diane Ensrud for the Herald’s Most Inspiring People’s series.

The series highlights the good deeds, volunteering and overall inspiring actions of community members in the Grand Forks area.

Cook does her part by preparing tax returns free of charge for those in need. She focuses mainly on elderly clients now, but helped a variety of people during her 14-year volunteer streak. You can read her story here and the rest of the Herald’s series here.

To Cook, her works are just a way of paying forward all the kindness shown to her throughout her lifetime.

“Some people just need that little helping hand,” she said.

While willing to talk about herself, Cook said Ensrud is someone worthy of writing about. I suggested nominating her for next year’s Most Inspiring People series. Cook said she’ll consider it so you may be hearing from this pair of volunteers again.