A former Central Missouri teacher continues to offer her skills and time as a volunteer for schools and other organizations.
Rosalyn Wieberg taught for 25 years in the Blair Oaks School District. She now is a regular volunteer in the classrooms, using her experience to help teachers prepare materials. Wieberg also volunteers to manage special events in the buildings.
School district officials said she never expects acknowledgment or praise for her actions, even though she is one of the first to give it out to others.
"I really appreciate the administration for letting me come and do this work — because once you're a teacher you're always a teacher," Wieberg said. "It's always in your blood."
Wieberg never has to worry about finding things to fill her day. Along with her work at Blair Oaks, she helps at other service agencies such as the Samaritan Center.
She said wanting to do volunteer work goes back to her childhood.
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"I'm a doer — I like to be busy. The interaction with people is what drives me. I'm a people person," Wieberg said. "It started with my parents, who set a good example at an early age. My dad put out large gardens, growing more produce than we could handle. He was always distributing the excess to those who needed it in the community."
Wieberg grew up on a farm along the Osage River, and her family had to move out several times due to flooding.
"The waters would be raging at your door, and you had to be out within a matter of a few hours," Wieberg said. "I always remember the community rallied together and would help each other move out or whatever you needed. I saw that, and I thought this was a way for everyone to give back to one another. I think those times showed me why volunteering is so important."
Wieberg said she still sees the volunteer spirit continuing in Central Missouri.
"An example of that is Cole County Relay for Life," Wieberg said. "I've worked with them the past 20 years, and I think of all the hours put in and the multitude of people that come together to put that on for such a great cause."
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Wieberg did say she'd like to see more young people get involved in volunteering.
"I think they need to do it at an early age to realize that there are people out there who are less fortunate than they are, and they need to be able to do things for others, even if it's just for a smile or a spark of hope," Wieberg said. "I'm a firm believer that every act of kindness counts."
When Wieberg first started helping at the Samaritan Center five years ago, her oldest grandson, Cole, was 11.
"He asked me one day, 'Nanna, can I go with you to volunteer?' So I said, 'Sure,' and from day one, he was hooked," Wieberg said. "It was a real eye-opener for him. On the rides home he would talk about what he had seen and heard.
"Volunteering can be contagious, which is what it should be. They can think, 'Maybe I should help because someday I may need help," she said.