By David Runyon, retiring executive director
Three decades, almost that is. That is the amount time, a lifetime of sorts, that I have spent here at Helping Services. My work on the agency’s mission did not begin at my “start date” and will not end with my retirement in June. I came to the mission naturally through my Christian faith and the training in my childhood home from my parents. By the time I came to the agency in 1985, my commitment to helping children and families was deeply rooted in my personal mission.
Starting in high school I wanted to make a difference, and I looked for opportunities to do so. And so, joining with Helping Services’ mission of service to children and families felt like a good and natural fit. I have gained much over these thirty years and have appreciated the opportunity to give back to others. I am thankful for the many staff and volunteers who are the ones to carry the mission flag in the trenches. Their dedication is inspirational and gives me much hope and encouragement. Our staff face each year as a challenge and each year as an opportunity. Rising to the challenge and seizing the opportunity is what we have done and will continue to do.
What will he do in retirement?
I’ve had a lot of questions about how I will use my time in retirement. I expect it to be a busy time, starting right off with the Register’s Annual Bicycle Ride Across Iowa in July. But we have lots to do on our place with 120 fruit trees, a big garden, registered Belgian Draft horses and new colts every spring, and a new venture into raising Leonberger dogs. Also with children near and far, we will be visiting as near as Independence, Iowa; La Crosse, Wisconsin; Tampa, Florida; and London, England on a regular basis. I am looking forward to that quiet cup of coffee in the porch swing, fishing and kayaking in the Volga River, and supporting the work of the church. I am not sure why we call it retirement!