Margaret Irwin, Volunteer Coordinator Retires after 22 Years

Margaret Irwin, Volunteer Coordinator Retires after 22 Years

May 14, 2024

We are celebrating Margaret Irwin’s retirement in the middle of May after 22 years with Volunteer Management and Caregiving & Aging at FamilyMeans.

Margaret has been a recruiter and guide for countless volunteers who have served in FamilyMeans programs throughout the entire organization. She is most proud of her role founding and leading the Day Out group respite program. Hear more about her time at FamilyMeans through a special Q&A with Margaret below!

When did you begin your role at FamilyMeans? I started in July 2002 as a full-time Volunteer Coordinator and in 2011 I added the role of Day Out Coordinator.  So, my responsibilities since 2011 have been both Day Out Coordinator and Volunteer Coordinator.  For the past 7 years I have worked half-time. 

What has changed or stayed the same since you were hired? Since 2002 Caregiving &Aging has added a lot more programs and services, both for caregivers and care receivers.  We have many volunteers who have been with FM for over 10 years, but many of the younger people are looking for shorter time commitments.

What would you like all volunteers to know about their work at the agency? I would like volunteers to know that their work is essential to the success of our programs.  Simply put, our respite program (both in-home and Day Out) wouldn’t exist without them.  The volunteers have inspired me with their talents and dedication to volunteering and I will miss them.  I can’t thank them enough for all they’ve done to support caregiving families!

Can you share one of your favorite memories from your time at FamilyMeans? There are many favorite memories, but the first day of Day Out on July 22, 2011 was special.  We discovered that it was the birthday of one of our participants, so one of our volunteers went out and bought a cake.  It was such a spontaneous and joyful celebration and a great way to begin a program that has grown and has served many caregiving families through the years.

What will you miss most about FamilyMeans? I will really miss the people—the staff, volunteers, and families we serve!  In my job interview I was asked if I was lucky.  My answer was yes, but I didn’t realize how lucky I would be to work here for almost 22 years!  I have learned so much and have been fortunate to work at a job that I really enjoy and that has such a worthwhile mission.  I feel a deep sense of satisfaction knowing that FamilyMeans is a strong organization and will continue to thrive and seek out innovative ways to strengthen our community.

Beth Wiggins, FamilyMeans Director of Caregiving & Aging, says “Margaret has a special talent for helping people feel welcomed and fully included, just as they are. Her genuine curiosity about each individual draws in volunteers and ensures that their unique talents are put to use. And for people living with dementia or other difficulties, being truly accepted and valued is priceless. For 22 years, Margaret has fostered a spirit of belonging at FamilyMeans. What a gift!”

We thank Margaret for her two decades of service and wish her the best time as she moves into retirement! We know she will enjoy the added time with her grandchildren, traveling, and church activities. Keep shining your bright light!