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More time for volunteering

A relaxing summer spent in the garden is nothing new to Anne Hanley. This year it’s different, however, as she won’t be heading back to work in the fall, having retired after 34 years as the secretary at St. Teresa of Avila Catholic Elementary School in Elmira.

But at 68 she has no intention of relaxing. An avid volunteer, Hanley has always thrived on a busy schedule of community involvement and working with the kids at her school. With four children and nine grand children, Hanley believes it is time to retreat from the responsibilities of her job and immerse herself in her non-profit work while spending more quality time with family.

Since her retirement from St. Teresa school in Elmira, Anne Hanley has more time for her volunteer activities, including continuing her father’s support for Meals on Wheels. [elena maystruk / the observer]
“I figure its time to give all of my time to volunteer work and my grandkids and my kids. They are growing up so fast that I want to be there with them and for them,” Hanley said.

Once Hanley’s children became old enough to start school, she applied for a job as an educational assistant at St. Teresa’s and after four years on the job received the position of secretary. The school has never had a nurse, Hanley explains, and children would come to her for anything from school-related requests to first aid.

“I did just about anything that needed doing. If kids were sick they would come to me. If they needed first aid, band aids, they would come to me. Even their medication – I was responsible for any medication they had to take. Being a mother and grandmother you are used to doing it anyways,” Hanley said of her experience at the school.

From the beginning, Hanley had a simple aspiration for her career: to work with kids. She enjoyed the students who came into her office and became known for her supply of stickers that she would hand out to students. Hanley found little to complain about at her job and plans to visit the kids when she volunteers for the school’s reading program. Her own children attended the school and now some of her grandchildren are too.

“I just really enjoyed the kids; them coming into my office and asking for stickers. And our staff has been wonderful, it’s been great. If you do run across something difficult you just make it fun, make it easier, just go with the flow,” she said for her time at St. Teresa’s.

Hanley is no stranger to a schedule packed with community contributions. In addition to her job at the school she has volunteered with the booster club for 25 years, preparing game meals for the Elmira Sugar Kings. She has spent just as much time contributing to Meals on Wheels, a program that delivers meals to individuals unable to prepare food for themselves. Her contribution to the program has a history and seems to run in the family.

“My dad got me into Meals on Wheels because he did Meals on Wheels until he was 90, so I think I just followed in his footsteps. I just need to be doing things for people.”

Continuing to volunteer with Meals on Wheels, Hanley is also caring for her garden; a beloved hobby she looks forward to every summer. But she says the relaxation of summer months will not satisfy her for long and the fall and winter months will have her taking on more volunteer projects.

“It’s going to be in the fall when the fall comes that I will probably think ‘oh, boy, I don’t have enough to do!’”

 

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