News 12 at 6 o'clock, March 3, 2010
AUGUSTA---Our Time To Care winner for March spent her career as a nurse. She was in charge of the Nursing Home Care Unit at the VA. Even though Ethel Jenkins has been retired for 13 years, she never quit caring about people.
Ms. Jenkins admits retirement was an adjustment for her.
"When I first retired, it took me about three years to figure out what was I going to do with all those skills that I had gained," she said.
She found the answer at the Area Agency on Aging. And that's what led to a recent get-together at the Henry Brigham Community Center in Augusta. The director, Patricia Jenner, says Ms Ethel has been dropping by to lend a hand for years.
"Ethel Jenkins was my champion, still is. She's a wonderful person," Jenner says.
And this retired nurse is a firm believer in healthy aging.
"The key to aging is activity," Jenkins told us. "The key to aging is activity. I believe that."
Ethel says that may mean growing a garden or even using pet therapy. But Ethel has a heart for young people too.
"I do think the values the grandparents have is something the children really need," she said.
Ms Ethel spends her summers volunteering with the children's camp program at her church.
"And I find many of the children would be better if they were brought in the presence of older people because they have the idea that when you get older, there's nothing to do."
Lauren Spivey says Ethel Jenkins really does live up to the name of our award.
"Ms Ethel is always taking time to care... about others," Spivey told us.
"She's just always there to care about other people, so that's what prompted me to submit the nomination."
She is the kindest, the greatest most energetic woman I have ever seen for people of all ages. She's there for the young, the middle aged and the old," Jenner told us.
For Ethel Jenkins, the goal is simple. Just keep on going.
"I plan to, I plan to," Jenkins says. "I think God has a lot in store for me. Lots to do. So I have a lot to look forward to."
And in her case that may mean keeping up with her two kids, seven grand children and a great granddaughter. And don't forget her own mother--- who is ninety three and still going strong.
Ms Ethel says if you're a senior citizen, don't forget the Area Agency On Aging is there to help.
And of course, we want to thank our Time To Care partners who make this award possible -- Subway, Troy University and Ashley Furniture.
If you want to nominate someone, you can do that here.