"Everyday Heroes" spread hope across the country

Everyday Heroes, Ron and JoAnn Hahs

DAISY, MO (KFVS) - "They've just been fantastic people to the community," said Bill Freeman "And they give so much of themselves to those in need and never thanked for that."

So he went out to thank them, by nominating them for Everyday Heroes.

Heroes come in all forms.

You can find them in the classroom, on the battlefield and one may even appear as a helping hand when you least expect it.

A man and wife from Daisy, Missouri are heroes to people across the country for their daily work to spread hope, affect change and spur recovery.

Ron and JoAnn Hahs appear to be a typical retired couple.

The great-grandparents are active in church and family, but these volunteers rarely sit down and take a load off.

"You get a good feeling," said Ron Hahs. "I don't know if you can really explain it if you haven't experienced it. I enjoy working with the people and helping people."

Many people may see retirement as a time to slow down, enjoy the simple life.

But not these two.

JoAnn molded minds in the classroom for 35 years and Ron worked in construction, but one could say their hours are much more demanding now that they've retired.

"My mother also taught and I saw what happened to her after retirement and she had a hard time adjusting," said JoAnn Hahs. "And I thought that's not going to happen to me, and it hasn't."

JoAnn is a self-proclaimed joiner: meaning she joins just about every cause that touches her heart.

With her hand in so many jars, it makes you wonder how she manages it all.

From making potato necklaces, that's right, it's a long process from potato to jewelry, to sewing autism blankets for kids, it seems she has very little time to spare.

"You don't have to look very far. There's all kinds of opportunities for you. All you have to do is say I will, I can and I shall," said JoAnn.

That mind set has steered the Hahs' on an interesting journey across the country.

Ron is a blue hat, or unit leader, for the Southern Baptist Convention Disaster Relief Missouri.

"It sorta got dumped, at first," Ron joked.

The job may have fallen into his lap, but it stuck.

JoAnn is head chef.

At the drop of a hat they're ready to respond when natural disasters hit.

Their disaster relief work has taken them to seven states where they feed thousands who endured devastating loss, like a family of five with another on the way who had to rebuild their lives from scratch following Hurricane Katrina.

"He was eating and I touched his arm and I held out my hand and he took it and I put the money in his hand," said JoAnn. "And there was a team there from Alabama and they heard what we'd done so I collected money also. I took it back and he looked at me and he said 'You've got to be an angel.' And I said, 'Well, you're the only person who thinks so.'"

There's a lot of laughter with these two and humility comes in spades.

"You think you're helping others but basically you get more," said JoAnn. "It's just a feeling of satisfaction, and as Ronnie often says, you know, you're hooked. Once you do this kind of thing you want to do more."

If you know of an everyday hero in your life, please let us know.

Just click

to make your nomination.

We'll profile an Everyday Hero each month on Heartland News and all of our heroes will be honored at an annual Red Cross recognition luncheon.

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