RSVP volunteer won't let 90th birthday slow her down

Ginny Jorgensen has been volunteering with RSVP for 28 years. She just turned 90 but plans to continue her volunteer work. (Submitted Photo)
Posted: Mar. 27, 2014 10:32 am Updated: Apr. 10, 2014 3:14 pm

Herald-Whig Staff Writer

Ginny Jorgensen insists, with a smile, that there's no reason for her to stay home all the time.

"I just can't see watching TV 24 hours a day, seven days a week," she said.

Jorgensen, who celebrated her 90th birthday Wednesday, was honored by the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program at the start of her 28th year with the organization. She also was feted for her birthday at the early-morning RSVP gathering at Krazy Cakes.

"There are not many people I would get up at 7:30 in the morning for, but Ginny is one of them," said Carla Gosney, who headed RSVP for 38 years until her retirement in 2010 and was on hand to pay tribute to Jorgensen.

Jorgensen started with RSVP shortly after her retirement from Harris Corp., now GatesAir, where she was involved with inventory control.

"I saw an ad in The Herald-Whig that RSVP needed a part-time typist," she said.

More than a quarter-century later, Jorgensen is still volunteering.

"I have no regrets," she said. "I like helping people."

Jorgensen has also volunteered for other community agencies, including Meals on Wheels and Carry-Out Caravan. At one time, she and her late husband, Harry, who died in 2005, undertook separate Meals on Wheel routes to assist more people in need.

Jorgensen also used to help take medical patients to needed appointments.

"Ginny has been a godsend for RSVP," Gosney said. "She has always had a wonderful attitude and was never afraid to try anything. Ginny has been a wonderful asset to the community."

Julie Bates is the manager of literacy and volunteer services at John Wood Community College, which hosts the RSVP program. Bates succeeded Gosney as the RSVP director, and she, too, is a big fan of Jorgensen's.

"Ginny is just a ball of fire," Bates said. "She's one of those people who tells it like it is. She's no-nonsense. We love having her here and don't know what we'd do without her."

Bates said Jorgensen has contributed more than 10,000 hours to RSVP.

Jorgensen appreciates the close-knit family atmosphere at RSVP and the helping-hand philosophy.

"When my husband passed away, they were so supportive ... and helped me through it," she said. "There were times I would come into the office, and ... I would just need to leave."

Jorgensen has no plans on relinquishing her role at RSVP.

"As long as my health holds up, I want to keep helping," she said.