Jefferson Award Winner: Kathy Campbell

Eau Claire (WQOW) – October’s Jefferson Award winner made her plan to volunteer, even before she retired.Kathy Campbell spent 25 years working for the Eau Claire School District. Despite no longer receiving a paycheck, Campbell still can be found in the classroom, now as a volunteer.  "I just always felt at home here," Campbell said. "I just felt that this was an important place to be.""She took a couple weeks off for retirement in September, and then she started coming back to volunteer," said Julie Schaller, an educator at Northwoods Elementary School.Campbell made the decision to volunteer before she retired, saying she saw a number of ways an extra pair of hands could help."My last day of employment, I told my principal ‘I hope you’ll let me come back, because I’ll find a way in’," Campbell said.Two days a week, Campbell helps wherever she is needed. She volunteers in the classroom, chaperones on field trips, and has even started a club at the school."For me, I get a lot out of it, and give very little to get that much back," Campbell said.Despite her modesty, staff at Northwoods Elementary School said her presence allows more teaching to happen. "It’s just so helpful," Schaller said. "I can get a lot more done in my classroom, she’s just wonderful."Campbell said she still has time to accomplish all she wants in retirement, and sees her time at the school as a small way to give back."It doesn’t have to be a large commitment to make a difference," she said. "If you can share your enthusiasm, or energy, or just a smile, it let’s others know that you care, and I think we’re building our community by doing that."Campbell said her favorite class to lend a helping hand is art, because she loves to see the creativity of the young artists.If you know a volunteer making a difference in your community, you can nominate them here.  

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