SYSK: Longtime HVAAA volunteer entered in national contest - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

SYSK: Longtime HVAAA volunteer entered in national contest

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

The Hawkeye Valley Area Agency on Aging serves 10 counties in eastern Iowa, providing numerous services including more than one thousand meals a day. That's where volunteer Gene Haack comes into play.

For more than 17 years, he's helped with the home delivered meals.

Monday through Friday, Gene gets these meal into place for the Meals on Wheels delivery drivers.

"Approximately 20 minutes to 11:00 we start getting the hot meals ready, and I get them out for the people who deliver into the area," said Haack.

Gene is 86 years old, and volunteering for the HVAAA is a great way for him to stay active.

"It helps me get out of the house. It helps me exercise and that's what the doctor wants me to do and I really enjoy doing it. I love doing it," said Haack.

"I think the first thing that jumps out at me about Gene is his attitude. He's been here more than 17 years, and he comes in with a smile everyday and always has a kind word for folks," said HVAAA Executive Director Mike Isaacson.

Gene Haack got started volunteering after he and his wife used to come to the senior center, now called the Waterloo Healthy Lifestyles Center, for meals.

"He's really invaluable. He's the life blood of the organization. We would try to replicate him if we could . He's a great inspiration not only to our volunteers, but to our staff as well," said Isaacson.

For his many years of service, Gene is nominated for the Meals on Wheels Association of America "American Volunteer" Contest.

He's competing with volunteers from across the country.

"I think it's an honor just to be nominated. A privilege," said Gene Haack.

The HVAAA hopes Gene's dedication inspires others to volunteer.

Serving 60,000 people in ten counties wouldn't be possible for the agency without volunteers like Gene Haack.

"We're blessed to have Gene, and we'd be even more blessed to have more of him," said Isaacson.

"I hope I can continue to be a help to them in the future," said Haack.

Thanks in large part to Gene Haack, lots of people get fresh meals delivered everyday, allowing people to stay in their homes.

In addition to helping with Meals on Wheels, Gene also helps out with bible study at the HVAAA.

You can vote for Gene in the "American Volunteer" contest by clicking here.

Voting ends at the end of the day on Friday, August 26th.

Reporter: Danielle Wagner

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