Helping hands

Christina’s Home Guardians

Christina’s Home Guardians co-owners Hunter Smith, left, and Shane Bennett are helping Christina Avila, who also owns the company, in efforts to help South Lake Tahoe seniors.

Christina’s Home Guardians co-owners Hunter Smith, left, and Shane Bennett are helping Christina Avila, who also owns the company, in efforts to help South Lake Tahoe seniors.


For more information on the effort to help seniors in their homes, go to, or write Avila at

Running her own small business with her family, Christina Avila daily sees the need that seniors in South Lake Tahoe have concerning help with cleaning and upkeep of their homes. Now, she has decided to do something to alleviate some of the burdens the aging population in her community sometimes faces.

Avila is the co-owner of Christina’s Home Guardians, a cleaning business she runs with her husband, Shane Bennett, and her son, Hunter Smith. Avila has lived in South Lake Tahoe her entire life, and she wanted to give back to the community in some way.

That’s where other residents can also join her and help. Christina’s Home Guardians is sponsoring an ongoing effort to find volunteers who can donate time to help seniors who live in the community with basic cleaning needs and everyday chores around their homes.

To that end, Avila and her family will be putting together a sign-up booth for this volunteer effort. It takes place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Oct. 12 and 13, near the Raley’s supermarket at 4000 Lake Tahoe Boulevard, in what the locals call the South Y shopping complex.

Avila first had the idea for doing something that would benefit seniors in May 2018. That year, though, her mother, Kelly Jo Miller, passed away and Avila ended up postponing the effort. Avila said that her mother’s death partially inspired her need to do something for Tahoe’s senior population.

“My mother had rheumatoid arthritis, and she really couldn’t do anything for herself,” Avila said. “Toward the end of her life, she couldn’t even walk by herself. I think that’s one of the reason why I wanted to start this charity effort, to help others who aren’t as able to help themselves.”

It’s especially good timing, since Tahoe winters can be rough ones, even for the most hearty residents. Avila said those who volunteer “can help seniors either outside or inside of their homes, whatever the case may be.”

Among the different duties that Avila said volunteers could help with are washing dishes and other kitchen cleaning, vacuuming or mopping floors, making beds, cleaning bathroom areas and handiwork and maintenance outdoors.

Avila gets to see this need first-hand during her own cleaning routes. “I have a couple of clients that are in the senior plaza over here,” she said. “I clean for them for a discount, but there are so many of them that are in real need for help that I don’t even have the people to help out.”

Avila also said that the seniors get another benefit from volunteers helping out with the housework. “Sometimes, all they want is someone to visit them, so this is one way that can also happen,” she said.

One interesting aspect about this particular effort is that it’s very flexible. Avila said whatever a person can spare in terms of time will be meaningful for South Tahoe seniors. “I want to make this effort so it’s convenient for everyone,” she said. “If someone can volunteer for an hour or two a week that is fine, or they may wind up going back every week for more time. Really, whatever people are willing to give, and can give, is fine.”

As far as the size of the effort, Avila is also keeping that loose: “I’ll take as many as I can get. I can even take people from Carson City, because I do have some seniors there that could benefit from this.