Happy 90th Birthday to a Very Special Volunteer!
On July 4th, 2016, we celebrate Gloria MacRae’s 90th birthday. Gloria is one of Mano a Mano’s most dedicated volunteers and has been involved since the beginning; she made a $25 donation to Mano a Mano during our first year in 1994 and then, as she says, ‘it took over her life’.
Over the years Gloria has recruited many volunteers and donors, always carries a Mano a Mano brochure in her purse, talks with everyone she knows about our work, requests donations of medical surplus, and the list goes on. She attends almost every Mano a Mano event and is our unofficial “official” greeter.
We even have her to thank for helping get our clinic program off the ground. When we celebrated Gloria’s 70th birthday in 1996, we kept secret that more than 100 of her friends were raising funds to build the first Mano a Mano clinic in her name, “Clinica Gloria”. Imagine her surprise when we presented the gift: enough seed funding to build two clinics, Clinica Gloria I and Clinica Gloria II. And the rest, as they say, is history.
75th Birthday Challenge – Selling Donated Wine Glasses
For her 75th birthday we had a new challenge. Northwest Airlines had donated 8,000 crystal glasses to Mano a Mano, which we planned to sell as a fundraiser. Gloria was our best salesperson; she even began carrying glasses in her purse to sell for $2 each to everyone she knew, and we raised over $16,000!
Gloria was born in Empress, Alberta, Canada on July 4, 1926. She emigrated to the U.S. to attend the University of Texas, became a medical technologist, and worked for a pharmaceutical company until age 35. Beginning to feel restless in her lab-focused job, she decided to seek another career and chose social work through the University of Minnesota’s masters program. She worked as social worker at Gillette Hospital, Ramsey County, and Anoka State Hospital until she retired. Not one to stop at that point, she went on to teach English to spouses of foreign students, became the volunteer social worker for Macalester Plymouth United Church, served on the review board for the St. Peter Security Hospital, and adopted Mano a Mano.
For every birthday since 1996, it’s become a tradition for Gloria to encourage friends to make a donation to Mano a Mano in her honor. Gloria exemplifies the spirit of our organization, and we thank her for her tremendous support; Happy 90th Birthday Gloria!
If you would like to honor Gloria’s commitment and say happy birthday, you are welcome to make a donation here.
Happy happy day to this amazing woman! I am so honored that I was able to chat with her for some time at the April Festival Bolivia! She gives true meaning to the phrase “A woman of substance”! Her heart is as wide as the sky and her volunteer spirit is a thing of beauty!