Thanks, Vi, for a lifetime of giving

It's easy to pass judgment and say someone ought to do something about a problem. But it's a lot more difficult to dedicate yourself to becoming part of the solution.

Vi Bibee is one of those people and, unfortunately, she is retiring.

Bibee, 68, the family-services director for The Salvation Army, left her post Friday. She's been with them in some capacity since 1982, whether helping put together holiday baskets, or finding clothing for families in need. She's been family-services director since 1998 and has helped thousands.

What's especially remarkable about Bibee is that she went through hard times herself, including a double mastectomy, and yet she kept on giving. She continued to work right through the treatment.

And now, she says, she'll volunteer to help others who are going through cancer, in addition to continuing her volunteer work with Court Appointed Special Advocates, Kiwanis, Ormsby Association for Retarded Citizens and St. Peter's Episcopal Church.

Wait, didn't she say she was retiring?

It seems that giving is a habit from which you cannot retire. The financial rewards may not be great but, as she once observed after tirelessly collecting toys for needy families during the holidays, the payment comes in other ways.

"I love to see the look on the parents' faces when they come to get the gifts for their children," she said in 2004.

We can only hope that others have learned from Bibee the power of giving, because it will probably take the efforts of many to replace her service to the community.

We wish Bibee well in her retirement and thank her for her years of service.


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