Dennis Hynes: A Lifelong Commitment to Service and Volunteering
It is often said that the best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others. Dennis Hynes embodies this philosophy. A lifetime of dedication to service, both to his country and his community, showcases the profound impact a single individual can make.
Dennis is a familiar face to many who visit the Durham Museum in the heart of Nebraska. For over a decade, he has served as a docent volunteer, ensuring every tour he provides is a unique experience for the attendees. His use of a tablet to share additional photos and insights showcases his commitment to enhancing the visitor experience. Recognizing that everyone learns differently – whether by listening, touching, or looking – he strives to cater to all.
And when the occasion arises, Dennis immerses himself fully, dressing the part to make the experience more vivid and authentic for his visitors. In his words, “When you’re in costume and they’re in costume, it just makes it a little bit more real for them. It makes it more valuable — I think they get more out of it.”
This fervor for connecting with others and giving back wasn’t something that started recently. Dennis’s journey of service began with a 27-year-long career in the United States Air Force, during which he was stationed in numerous locations across the globe. Through his military service, Dennis forged strong bonds, viewing his colleagues as an extended family. This sense of unity and camaraderie didn’t wane post-retirement but rather found a new direction.
Reminiscing about his decision to volunteer there, Dennis mentions the “warm, fuzzy feeling” he got. Today, the joy he derives from seeing young learners light up with understanding is palpable. Moreover, Dennis has also taken on the role of organizing private tours for service members from the USS Omaha, a gesture that resonates deeply with the service members.
In the realm of volunteering, the value of one’s time is immeasurable. As Dennis aptly puts it, “Volunteering is good. It makes you as a person feel good, it makes the public feel good, and it helps keep places like this going.” And his dedication doesn’t stop at the museum. Dennis has also devoted time at Fontenelle Forest and continues to be active in his church.
For his unwavering commitment and passion, Dennis, a 13-year cancer survivor, will be honored at the Step Forward Awards on Oct. 6. His story is a testament to the difference that one individual can make and serves as an inspiration to many.
To anyone reading this, remember: your time and efforts can make a world of difference. Embrace the spirit of service and discover the myriad rewards it brings.
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