Posted: Dec 13, 2012 5:47 PM by Mitch Bryan
Updated: Dec 13, 2012 6:46 PM
BEEVILLE - Those at the Bee Community Action Agency, are saying goodbye to Karen Hadden, who is retiring tomorrow after 35 years helping the elderly.
Karen's story is a special one...because she has spent the past 35 years working her way up the business ladder from the ground floor at the Bee Community Action Agency.
"I couldn't find a job. No one would hire or nothing," Karen said.
In 1977, Karen got a job with the help of a good friend.
"Before I left, he said, have that girl on payroll come Monday morning. And they said, as what? I don't care, just have her on payroll. And that was the beginning," she told me.
That would land Karen a job as a janitor during which she was the only African American woman on the payroll for quite some time. With a dedication that would put most to shame, Karen clawed her way up through the ranks, becoming a kitchen cook, then a driver, then finally the assistant to the director. Finally, in 1990, she was officially named the new director of the Action Agency.
Karen said, "I look back on my life and I never thought that, that job back then, that opportunity would lead to this."
Throughout the years, Karen has made life easier for the elderly that came to her agency. Bringing them food and spending countless hours by their side, even up until the end.
"I've buried a lot of them. And that's the sad part, because they become family," Hadden said.
Now suffering from a heart condition, Karen says the time has come to say goodbye. And she says that if it weren't for her health, she wouldn't be going anywhere.
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