Like other Living Treasures, Helen Peterson is recognized for her bountiful volunteer work. She feels she had never done anything that unusual. "I just saw things that needed to be done and did 'em."
She has provided safe haven for abused women. She raised a special needs son and became active in the Special Olympics for which she drove the participants up and down the coast of California.
She shares stories of Ojai as a docent of the Ojai Valley Museum walking tours. Her family has been a part the Valley for over 100 years.
She started teaching in Ojai in 1954 then taught military children and their families in Europe in the late 50's and 60's. She returned to Ojai and taught till retiring in 1991. She worked on special programs with at risk youth until 1994.
Ms. Peterson has volunteered at Twice Sold Tales and Ojai Libraries Bookstore. She volunteers at the Homeless Shelters each year and helps with Share the Harvest, the food pantry distribution program. Helen observed, "Well, I just go along quietly and do what I do--what I feel is right for me to do--and I hope if I inspire somebody by my actions, that that's the result that happens."