On May 8th we celebrated our volunteer Helen McDuffie with pizza lunch and an award. Helen is retiring as an active volunteer on the Lifeline, a role she had held for over 20 years! “I’m definitely old school,” says the 85-year-old former high school counselor. “I believe in the power of one-to-one conversations. It’s very important to be heard. And it’s just as important to listen.”
Helen is the recipient of the Shirley Utevsky Volunteer of the Year Award. This award is made to a direct service volunteer who gave generously whenever there was a need.
Helen moved from Pittsburgh to Seattle in 1999 to be near her granddaughter and she quickly connected with the Cancer Lifeline community. “I was the primary caregiver for my mother as she battled cancer. I was brought along to a yoga class and the next thing I knew I was interviewing to be on the Lifeline.” Helen was “hired” as a volunteer right away. She claims she has been paid more than riches with the friendships and conversations she’s had over the years. And while she’s no longer regularly on the line, she’s no stranger to our classes. In fact, she’s a regular participant in the long-running class Writing for the Moment.
Thank you, Helen, for all your years of service.