‘It’s about others’ Missouri man helps people in need during retirement

Missouri

SPRINGFIELD, Mo.- What do you want to do when you retire? Sometimes the answer is travel, or be with loved ones. But Ozarks First reporter David Chasanov met a man whose answer was: helping others.

And he’s doing just that.

Tim Dunn retired in Iowa. For the last 20 years, he led a distribution and manufacturing organization headquartered in Bettendorf, Iowa. Dunn has been in the Quad Cities area for the last 35 years. When he retired, he decided to return to where he grew up: the Ozarks.

Dunn was a Springfield Public Schools student who graduated from Parkview. He started his career in the Ozarks before moving to the Quad Cities.

Now that Dunn is back in southwest Missouri, he spends time with family and gives back to a nonprofit. For the last three months, he has driven from Table Rock Lake to Springfield. He does this almost every week.

“I asked whether there was a closer place to volunteer and there wasn’t,” Dunn said. “This is where the need is, so this is where I’ll come.”

In September of 2021, the need is at a future Habitat for Humanity home on Main Avenue.

“I started here at the Main house when it was still just being framed,” Dunn said. “I had the opportunity to work on several other Habitat homes where they needed volunteer help on a particular day.”

Dunn retired back in April of 2021. He could be sitting on his couch right now if he wanted to. But instead, he devotes his time to volunteering.

“I mean, I do take the opportunity to enjoy a part of my retirement and that’s the great part about being a volunteer,” Dunn said. “But I’ve been extraordinarily blessed. God’s blessed me with the ability to be retired early while I’m still in a position to physically be able to contribute. I just think it’s important to give back while you can.”

He has done interior work on a few Habitat projects in town.

“People demonstrate where their commitments are by how not only they spend their money, but where do they spend their time,” Dunn said. “When you’ve been as fortunate as I’ve been and you’ve been blessed financially with good health, a great family, and you know that not everybody enjoys all those blessings. And, so it’s just important.”

It’s what Dunn tries to remind his kids as they start their own families.

“That it’s not just about you,” Dunn said. “It’s about others in your community and do what you can to pitch in and help out.”

He says he doesn’t do this for attention or appreciation, but Habitat wanted to show some love anyway. The organization gave him a shoutout on its Facebook page.

Chief of Staff at Habitat for Humanity Chris Tuckness says Tim’s efforts don’t go unnoticed.

“[Dunn] is a great volunteer,” Tuckness said. “We love having him. Just his dedication is tremendous. To drive in this far to help us out on our homes to really the end result and is getting someone an affordable housing. We love having him part of our team. His commitment is just amazing. Any volunteer with Habitat is just truly amazing. It helps our team get our houses done quicker. It helps offset cost. Volunteers like Tim makes that happen.”

Dunn says his wife volunteers with him sometimes, and does some painting. His son has also helped out too.

If you would like to volunteer at Habitat, send an email to volunteer@habitatspringfieldmo.org.

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