FORT SMITH, Ark. – Retirement for many means they give up working and leave their job. 

For Nancy Brisher, it was just another opportunity to serve. 

For nearly three decades, Nancy Brisher was a voice for students. 

“I had spent most of my career working with children and youth with special needs,” says Nancy. 

But in 2006 the retired teacher began speaking up for another group of children. 

“We tend to say leave it up to someone else to step up when we should step in.”

Nancy volunteers as a court-appointed special advocate in Sebastian County. 

“I’ve just fallen in love with the children. Each child has their own unique stories.” 

She still keeps in touch with Evelyn, who aged out of foster care. 

“Alright, here’s a little gas money.” 

A constant in the lives of children in crisis even after their cases are closed. 

“We developed a plan and started this mentoring program called building bridges with the idea that a child leaves their foster home and starts out on their own living independently, that they have a support system there,” says Nancy. 

“It’s like building blocks. She starts one thing and then something else comes up and just continues. She finds a way to make the things she does even better,” says Ruth Dudding, who nominated Nancy.

Nancy is also a member of the River Valley Adoption Coalition and a trainer for The Call. 

Each year, she organizes a picnic called the spring spectacular connecting Arkansas children looking for an adoptive home with families. 

And about a year ago she began serving on the selection committee for Habitat for Humanity. 

“What needs to get done, Nancy gets done,” says Ruth.

Whether it’s dedicating a house a mom can finally call her own or helping a child find their permanent home…

“There’s always more to do,” says Nancy. 

Nancy Brisher is making a difference in her community. 

“and I’m anxious to do it.”