|Hammons a selfless volunteer|
|Monday, December 31, 2012 1:45 PM|
“One thing that really sets her apart as a person is her ability to take charge of situations,” fellow volunteer and friend Barb Bockey said.
“She’s a great leader, very capable of running things. She’s currently president of the Catholic Ladies of Columbia and she was president of the VFW Ladies Auxiliary for a number of years.”
Hammons’ volunteer work started with the VFW Auxiliary after her husband passed away and picked up from there.
“I met my husband, Robert, at a dance in Fort Jennings. We were married for 43 years. He was an Army veteran and when he passed away back in 1996, I needed something to do,” Hammons said. “One of the members of the VFW Auxiliary invited me to join and I’ve been there ever since. I really enjoy it. Everyone is really friendly; they look out for each other.”
Currently a trustee of the auxiliary, Hammons has held numerous other offices, including president. Hammons will do anything that needs to be done, including cooking funeral dinners when members pass away.
She is a volunteer with the Delphos Eagles Ladies Auxiliary, where she helps out with bingo every Thursday night and anything else that’s needed. She gives her time to the Red Cross bloodmobiles and St. Rita’s Ambulatory Care Center four hours a week. She also spends time at the Interfaith Thrift Shop where she works in sales, putting her love of meeting people to good use.
Hammons is also president of the Catholic Ladies of Columbia (CLC), a group which allows her to combine her faith with her love of volunteering.
“It’s been a while since I started with that. A friend invited me in about 10 years ago,” Hammons said. “It’s important to me because it’s a Catholic organization, so it involves my faith but it’s also a charitable organization. I’m also a member of the Catholic Daughters of America, which is another charitable organization. I’ve never held an office but I try to attend every meeting.”
“We have young members in the CLC but they don’t get involved much. There are about 200 total members in the VFW but only about 10 get involved regularly,” she said. “One thing we would like to see is more young people signing up. If you need something to do, ask. There’s always something to do.”
Bockey, who became close friends with Hammons over their years of volunteering together, says Hammons’ love for helping others is evident to all who know her.
“She’s very enthusiastic about it and I think she really does do it to help other people,” Bockey said. “Most of the organizations she’s involved with are ones that make money to benefit others. Things like the bloodmobile and Ambulatory Care, those are service things, serving the public. She’s very personable, very giving. She’s just a truly great lady. When I found out she was Woman of the Year I told her, ‘I’m not going to call you Woman of the Year, I’m calling you Lady of the Year,’ because she’s a real lady.”
Hammons and her husband had three children together: Bob Hammons, Karen Youngpeter and Mark Hammons. Their family has grown with seven grandchildren, Romie Youngpeter, Rachel Osting, Andrea Hamlin, Katrina Smith, Kristen Sawmiller, Brian Hammons and Jessica Hammons; who have given them seven great-grandchildren.
Bockey says Hammons is also dedicated to her family.
“She’s very good to them, her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren,” she said. “She babysits the younger ones when they need it, she’s very good with little kids, they love to go to grandma Hammons’ house. That’s another thing about her, she’s always there when you need her.”
“Everyone loves her. I don’t know a single soul that’s ever said anything bad about her,” Bockey continued. “She has very strong faith in God. Both God and her church are very important to her. She’s just a beautiful person. They say true beauty comes from within, and that’s true. She’s very beautiful.”
Hammons, who is 82 years old, recently had arthroscopic surgery done on her knee. In no time at all, she was back to her volunteering.