Marda McConnell

Marde McConnell (Caitlin Yamada/ The Union)
Marde McConnell (Caitlin Yamada/ The Union)

Marde McConnell stays busy volunteering in the community.

McConnell and her husband, Joe, have three daughters and eight grandchildren.

The former schoolteacher believes volunteering is one way to make the world and other people’s lives better.

“I just think there’s so many needs out there, and you gain so much more than you give,” McConnell said.

Whether it is stuffing letters for the YMCA, visiting residents at nursing homes, volunteering at Hawkeye Area Community Action Program, there are many ways people can get involved.

McConnell loves meeting with people and learning new things.

McConnell said she started volunteering in high school and has continued since.

She is a part of the Presbyterian Church and volunteers for the Saturday Kitchen with her husband. She has organized the schedule and volunteers for around eight years. There are 25 different groups that host the dinner, and she pieces the puzzle together each year.

McConnell is the chair of the Washington Tree Committee and has been for almost 30 years. She does much of the logistic work for the committee, coordinating meetings and doing paperwork.

The organization has planted more than 13,000 trees, McConnell said.

The American Association of University Women is another organization she is a part of. The group organizes the National Honors Society banquet for high schoolers.

McConnell said she is a facilitator. She likes to reach out to community and ask for help.

“There is somebody out there waiting to be asked,” she said.

There is a job for everyone, she said. It could be baking brownies, planting trees or handing out pamphlets.

A sign outside of the First Baptist Church reads “enthusiasm reaches goals.” McConnell said she believes it.

When asking for volunteers, McConnell approaches it with enthusiasm.

Donating blood, substitute teaching and writing notes are just a few additional ways she gets involved.

— Caitlin Yamada