West Enders Making a Difference
Already a highly successful volunteer administrator, proposal writer, and fundraiser, Georgann Warren McClure moved into the West Seventh area about eight years ago. By the time she retired, she had served in Volunteer Administration for the St. Paul Children’s Hospital, the American Heart Association, Catholic Charities and MN Special Olympics. “What people don’t realize is that we operated the same as the other departments. We had job descriptions and extensive training for our volunteers. Not all volunteers were suited for the position that they wanted. If a volunteer was not succeeding, I would shift them to a position that was more appropriate and fulfilling.
“I was in awe of many of the volunteers I was fortunate to meet. Parents who lost a child through a terrible accident or illness might return to the hospital months later to “give back” — to help other parents as they had been helped. I found it gratifying to see both volunteers and staff come together to accomplish the mission of the organization.”
How does one become an administrator of volunteers? “Well in my case, I started volunteering when my daughter came home from elementary school and announced that the school library had to have volunteers so that the library could be open the hours that the students most needed it. I loved being the “library lady” at Randolph Heights Elementary Library, helping to bring kids and books together. From that time on, I sought out volunteer jobs and learned that the opportunities are both endless in quantity, scope, and variety. I volunteered as well as worked full time for organizations at church, schools, libraries, the YWCA and other organizations and nonprofits. Along the way, I finished my degree in Human Services Administration at Metropolitan State University. I also raised a family and did caregiving for family members.
“My volunteer management activities made it possible for me to branch out into fundraising and proposal writing and regional consulting. One aspect of the work I enjoyed was meeting with corporate executives to help them develop and support volunteer activities for their employees and retiree groups. Those were always win-win opportunities for all involved. While Director of the Minnesota Academy of Family Physicians Foundation, I wrote a successful grant proposal to General Mills for funding a Nutritional Education program for underserved children at a local YWCA. It was fulfilling to serve as a volunteer with various nonprofit board positions, especially board recruitment.
“Now that I am ‘retired,’ I still volunteer. At the Landmark Center I work at special events and at the Information Desk where I greet people from all over the world. I enjoy answering their questions about St. Paul history and making suggestions for things they might like to do in St Paul. It is definitely a position for someone who likes people.
“My son, Scott McClure, owns St. Paul Automotive located here in our community and I help out there also. I enjoy giving people rides to and from their homes while their cars are being worked on, drive all over the cities picking up needed car parts, greeting customers and doing ‘Thank You’ calls.
“I was very fortunate to be a Volunteer Manager and to volunteer in Minnesota. Did you know that Minnesota is the Number 2 state in the country for active volunteers? How great is that! You are never ‘Justa Volunteer.’”