The two elderly ladies were smiling ear to ear. They hugged Deanna Sue Nasser and her mother and said, “Thank you, thank you!”
Of all the good works Nasser has done over the years, the Senior Citizens Holiday Event and Food Drive for residents of El Paso Housing Authority started by her father, Dale, and godfather, Peter Rizk, more than 50 years ago, remains closest to her heart.
“My best memories are watching all the seniors get up and dance. Every year I ask, do we need the dinner (because then they could give out more food). But the manager from housing told me they love this. It’s the only thing they have for their holiday.”
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Nasser, a certified public accountant, sought funds to purchase critical supplies for seniors and ended up with enough to buy toilet paper, paper towels, detergent, hand sanitizer and facemasks for 200 seniors.
Nasser takes advantage of every situation presented to her to make a difference.
For example, when her bosses at Helen of Troy had a warehouse leak that damaged a lot of goods, she got permission to take the undamaged products to various charities throughout the city.
“I was very blessed working for Jerry Rubin. He and Helen of Troy are very generous.”
Whenever she needed help – like matching money to get a big grant for the Center Against Family and Sexual Violence, Nasser asked, and Helen of Troy came through.
Many times, that meant filling up her van or car numerous times to deliver the goods, but Nasser took on that challenge.
Nasser has served on the boards of dozens of local organizations, often using her talents as treasurer.
She’s worked with every kind of non-profit from the Animal Rescue League to El Paso Pro-Musica. As hefting dozens of food boxes to seniors proved, she’s not afraid of hard work.
When working with the Junior League committee Done in a Day, she and other league members, after raising $18,000, rented equipment and built an entire playground for CAFSV in 18 hours on one Saturday.
Although Nasser has lessened her work slightly in the last six years when she semi-retired to take care of her mother, Surella, after she suffered a stroke, Nasser continues to do charity work, including providing accounting services pro bono for her church.
Nasser says her parents set the example of community involvement.
“Because we always went to the Little Boy Blue (And Sister, Too) event to feed 4,000 people hot dogs every June, it was years before I realized there was a Father’s Day.”