LAKEWOOD, Colo. — Ask anyone at Heritage Lakewood Belmar Park and they will tell you, there is one person you simply cannot tell no.
“I would never say no to Jean,” said Rebecca Gushen, community events coordinator for the city of Lakewood.
At 95 years old, and not a hair over 5 feet, Jean Jackson is as persuasive as she is sharp.
“If you get a call from Jean on a Thursday night, because she calls from her house, you know she’s gonna talk you into working that weekend,” said fellow volunteer, Myla Ferguson.
She has no plans to stop her 30-year stint as a volunteer at Lakewood’s 20th century history park and museum.
In that time, Jackson has done everything from leading walking tours to more recently helping schedule volunteers, but it’s her genuine care for people, that’s creating such a welcoming and warm community.
“I love the people. The volunteers are my family — it’s as simple as that,” Jackson said.
In many ways, Gushen said Jackson is what makes the volunteer program so special. She's an "inspiration," Gushen said.
If you ask her why she volunteers and her answer is simple.
“Oh, that’s like asking, 'Why do you breathe?'” Jackson said.
She added she plans to do the volunteer work “until I die.”
It's clear at Heritage Lakewood Belmar Park that the people who work there are as much a part of her as she is of them.
“I think volunteering gives you a real feeling of self-worth that you’ve been able to do something decent and fun,” Jackson said.
And who could possibly say no to that?
Molly Hendrickson anchors Denver7 in the mornings from 4:30-7 a.m. She also features a different 7Everyday Hero each week on Denver7. Follow Molly on Facebook here and Twitter here. To nominate a hero in your life, click here.