Doing, and helping, and being there to improve a person's life,
that’s what motivates me to volunteer my time.
Today, the class is referred to as Family and Consumer Sciences, but when Cindy Hiott first became a teacher it was simply known as Home Economics. Cindy grew up on a northern Indiana dairy farm in the 1950s. After graduating high school, she got a college degree in home economics, and later in elementary education, and reading.
Her teaching career lasted 30 years, during which time she taught all grade levels, but she had a passion for teaching elementary school children. “The elementary kids were so receptive and interested in the subject, so I just fell in love with it,” said Cindy.
Cindy also has a long history of volunteering. Her efforts began at a local hospital, but soon after she retired from teaching she joined the Hancock County Retired Teachers Association, heading up the community service arm of the organization.
One of her major projects was collecting shoes for folks at a local homeless shelter and thrift shop in conjunction with the World Mission. The effort yielded donations of more than 1,000 pairs of shoes, enough to fill a very large truck! Some shoes were distributed to people in need around the community, and some were also shipped to Africa to be given to children in need there.
Cindy soon found herself as the Indiana State Chair of the AARP National Retired Teachers Association. “Things just kind of kept evolving. I started doing things, and just kept becoming more and more involved,” said Cindy.
For the last decade, Cindy has worked to increase the number of reported service hours by volunteers to more than one million hours annually! Cindy has also made sure that outstanding volunteers and groups who give so much to their communities receive local recognition. Through NRTA’s “With Our Youth” volunteer awards program, Cindy and fellow teachers wrote the nominations for these groups and individuals. Over the years, many national awards were received by Indiana retired teachers.
Cindy is a master gardener and loves to travel with her husband Walt. The couple has five children and 15 grandchildren! Walt will be joining Cindy on the cruise.