The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

June 2, 2010

Helen Hahn: Time to say goodbye


— During a person’s lifetime, there are many times that you have had to make changes and say goodbye. Like leaving the security of your home and heading off to your first experience at school — kindergarten. Then grade school and high school; and before you know it, you are packing your bags and heading off to college. What comes after that? Well getting married, raising a family, then going to your kids’ weddings, playing with your grandchildren and pretty soon, you will be watching them go through the same process that you did.

I have come to that major change in my life where I’m going to say goodbye. I am going to retire after seven years at the Area Agency on Aging working as the Coordinator for the Retired Senior Volunteers Program. This has been a very difficult decision for me, but my health has prevented me from continuing to do what I have so enjoyed. Working with 450 to 500 volunteers has been such a delight for me.  My husband asked me what I was going to do now. I said, “well, as my health allows, I’ll VOLUNTEER” 

The good part of retiring is being able to rest when you aren’t feeling well and doing what you want to do when things are going well. One of those great things is getting to visit your family which includes your grandchildren, and friends more often.  The sad part of retiring is saying goodbye to those who have made you proud to say “I coordinate the volunteer program”. 

The Area Agency on Aging has sponsored the RSVP program for 25 years. But it is now time to pass the baton on to another agency. The Independent Living Center is going to continue with the RSVP program beginning July 1, 2010.  I’m certain that they will enjoy working with this program as we have. 

I have enjoyed working with so many great people here and having contact with others in the community and the region that helps those who have no way to help themselves.  I am so grateful to all of you who have been so faithful in volunteering.  I know that, if my health allows, I will cross paths with many of you again as “co-workers” engaged in making our community better as volunteers. 

How do I say thanks?  I can’t — the assignment is too hard for me, but I will never forget the expressions of love and friendship that I have received as I worked here at the Area Agency on Aging.

Helen Hahn is the Retired Senior Volunteer Program coordinator for the Area Agency on Aging.