Who: Providing opportunities for community service and personal growth is an important part of life for Talia Walsh, owner of Quest Studio, which has locations at 419 Church St. and 325 Third Ave., both in Jessup. Outside of her work aiming to offer total health and wellness — for mind and spirit — to her members, Walsh continues to give back to the community. She serves as president of the Sgt. Jan Argonish Ride, a motorcycle ride held in memory of her fiancé, who was killed in action in Afghanistan in August 2007, that has taken place each September for the past 13 years. And each October and November, the studio collects leftover Halloween candy that then gets used as packing filler for Operation Cookie, an effort her mother has participated in for 13 years that sends Christmas cookies and cards from local students to the troops.
What: Walsh’s big focus this time of year though is her studio’s Adopt-A-Veteran Drive, which she’s held for the last three years in the weeks leading up to Christmas. The studio collects items for the St. Francis Commons homeless veterans shelter, 504 Penn Ave., Scranton, which the Argonish ride also has financially supported over the last five years. In addition, the studio adopts one or two veteran families through a Veterans Affairs hospital program to fulfill their wish lists at Christmas. Walsh said a few Quest families “play a big part in this,” and the studio matches what is donated.
Quest will collect items for the 30 local veterans expected to spend Christmas at the shelter through Saturday, Dec. 19. The veterans need items such as pillows, hand towels, Dunkin’ Donuts and Redner’s Market gift cards ($5 and up), disposable razors, shaving cream, paper products, canned caffeinated coffee, bagged sugar, canned creamer, cereal, soup, Chef Boyardee and other canned goods, pasta, pasta sauce, gum, granola bars, trail mix and snacks. The items will be taken to the veterans the week of Christmas along with a hot meal.
How: To donate items, bring them to either Quest Studio location during classes; for a schedule, visit queststudio.sites.zenplanner.com/calendar.cfm. Or, contact Walsh at 570-815-4655 or firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange to drop off items or have them picked up.
The public also can mail monetary donations to Quest Studio, 325 Third Ave., Jessup, PA 18434, or donate via Venmo (@JansRide) or through PayPal’s friends and family service (paypal.me/jansride; put “Adopt-A-Veteran Donation” in the memo field).
In her own words: “Donations by our members and the community will provide support for local veterans in need as they work hard to get back on their feet and become the best version of themselves, which has always been our main goal for our members at Quest. Supporting the St. Francis Commons over the past five years has truly been a gift more for us than for them. Every year we deliver our care packages, they are overwhelmingly appreciative for the donations, support and, more importantly, the motivation, which in turn is a great way to uplift the mindset and motivation for our members and community.” — Talia Walsh
Caitlin Heaney West is the content editor for Access NEPA and oversees the Early Access blog in addition to working as a copy editor and staff writer for The Times-Tribune. An award-winning journalist, she is a summa cum laude graduate of Shippensburg University and also earned a master’s degree from Marywood University. Caitlin joined the Times-Shamrock family in 2009 and lives in Scranton. Contact: email@example.com; 570-348-9100 x5107; or @cheaneywest