For the last 35 years, Pam Wild has been the foundation of the Minnesota Valley Action Council's energy program.
"There is joy in this," the mother of two said. "You only have to help one person to make it worthwhile."
Pam has helped thousands. Unfortunately, this will be her last year at MVAC, as she has decided to retire at the end of the month. She'll join her husband, Doug, who retired in 2022.
She could have retired earlier, but isn't leaving until May 31, the last day energy applications can be turned in for the season, because she is that committed to those needing help from Community Action.
"They're probably going to have to pry my passkey out of my hands, and push me out the door, and I'll leave crying," Pam said of her upcoming retirement.
Pam started her career working for a for-profit company. Then she took time off to be a stay-at-home mom to her boys, Matthew and Jonathan. Her boys are now men with their own children.
When Pam decided to return to work in 1987, she wanted to do something with a purpose. She found it with MVAC.
"I told myself if you have to work, I might as well do something I love," Pam said. "I found my niche."
She began with a season job. That turned into a full-time job. She has spent the majority of her time with MVAC in energy department, where she flourished.
In her position, she has watched Community Action make a difference.
"It has been a phenomenal experience," Pam said. "Every day brings me lots of joy, a few surprises, and some new challenges. Sometimes I have found that what some people need most is for me to offer empathy and occasionally a hug. I sincerely hope I have made a difference in their lives."
While she'll miss the work and opportunity to help others, she’ll miss her co-workers just as much.
"(I) want my colleagues to know how much I have treasured the partnerships and friendships made along the way and that I will miss working with this great group of individuals," Pam said. "But I also know how dedicated each one is and know they will continue their fine work with much success."