marcia van ommeran
SBCO Volunteer has performed many jobs over two decades
By Nancy McCluskey-Moore
Every journey begins with a single step. That was true for Marcia Van Ommeran’s ongoing twenty-year sojourn as a SaddleBrooke Community Outreach volunteer. She attended a new-members meeting about volunteer opportunities after she and her husband, Tony, moved to SaddleBrooke from Michigan in 1998. After that meeting in 2000, she became a Kids’ Closet volunteer, helping students select new wardrobes and later a day manager, organizing student paperwork for days the Closet is open to student “shoppers.” She has also maintained student records and scanned clothing for computerized inventory tracking.
Over the years, Marcia has enthusiastically served on the SBCO Board of Directors, chaired the Angel Program (which became the Make a Difference Program), served as Recording Secretary, created and sold tribute cards, and delivered Source Books to local doorsteps. In addition, she has supported SBCO’s Walkathon, Home Tour and Food Drive special events. Marcia has also volunteered for Teen Closet and worked as a receptionist at the SBCO office. In support of SBCO’s educational activities Marcia has been a scholarship recipient mentor and a tutor for local students. Her tutoring in the San Manuel Schools even led to employment for eight years as a substitute teacher.
It is obvious why in the past Marcia has been selected as SBCO’s Volunteer of the Year and Grand Marshal of the Walkathon. Her commitment to the organization and the students it serves has been unstinting. She willingly completes a lot of the “behind the scenes” computer work essential to SBCO’s programs, but especially enjoys working directly with students – from Head Start preschoolers through teenagers.
Marcia says that one of her most memorable volunteer experiences occurred while helping a 6-year-old girl select her wardrobe at Kids’ Closet. The little girl was thrilled when given a package of little girls’ panties. The girl quickly hugged the package and ignored the other clothing saying that she only had brothers and had never before owned girls’ underwear. Another special moment occurred when a father who had been referred by Social Services, brought his young daughter to Kids’ Closet to get a warm winter jacket. He was overwhelmed as the number of items she was receiving increased. When he received the huge filled bag, he broke down and cried. He thought she was only going to be given a used coat.
The greatest benefit Marcia says she derives from being a SBCO volunteer is knowing that she is helping others. “Sometimes we live in their own little bubble in SaddleBrooke. By volunteering with SBCO you can get to know more about our nearby communities and the people who live there. I also have had the privilege of working with a lot of talented, experienced volunteers who put helping others above their own self-interests.”