During most of Mary McCracken’s life, she has served the Hamilton community as a teacher, inclusion advocate and long-time volunteer. Mary’s contribution to Wesley began because of her church, which had an outreach-minded culture—recounting how the caring adults in her family and church community demonstrated generosity simply as a way of life.
After Mary retired from teaching, she began to help Wesley’s after-school program by tutoring children with homework. McCracken’s expertise as a teacher helped the program immensely. She fondly recalls one of the children she guided improving from a grade D to a B in math and how much that meant to the family. This success story underscored the importance of bringing your time and talents into volunteering. In her words, “All he needed was some one on one focusing.”
While speaking about Mary’s lived experience in teaching, she recalled her career at Hess Street Elementary School during the Vietnamese refugee crisis and the influx of child newcomers. “I had a little girl in my class who said. She wanted to be white so she could be a teacher.” Speaking truthfully to school administration about the importance of visual representation for young learners. “I said you’ve got a very high Asian population of students. And what is your staff ratio for visual representation?”
Mary also volunteers at the Christmas store every year, and she has become part of a tight-knit group of volunteers who have been working together for years. Mary enjoys volunteering with Wesley and believes in the organization’s mission to help those in need, including newcomers to the community. “When you give, you get two fold back”.
Mary McCracken’s story is an inspiring example of how demonstrating generosity to the younger generation can inspire them to adopt a mindset of caring for others as adults. Thank you, Mary, for all you do to shape this community for the better.
If you want to be a part of positive change in the lives of the region’s most vulnerable, check out our volunteering opportunities. —> Get Involved Today