GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – This year’s Schreiber Heart of Gold Lifetime Achievement for volunteerism went to Sister Annice McClure.
The award is presented to those whose entire lives have been a model of service and assistance to the community. It is often difficult to represent all the accomplishments of those selected for this elite honor.
Sister Annice is a dedicated volunteer with St. John’s Ministries, which is the umbrella for four distinct programs: Men’s Shelter and Women’s Shelter, which are seasonal emergency shelters of last resort, and the Micah Center and Wellspring, daytime resource centers for men and women.
“At 90, I thought it was time to retire,” Sister Annice told Local 5 News. “I have time that I can do these things. There’s no way I’m going to be sitting around watching t.v.”
The now 91-year-old is one of 15 children. She only recently retired as a nurse and has the distinction of being the last Franciscan Sister to be serving in her native Green Bay.
She recalled how her mother did not have a lot of free time but still found time to help neighbors with food or a visit. Her dad would go down to the nearby gas station and, with the gift of gab, find somebody who needed a little help with something.
“My father was an outgoing Irishman,” Sister Annice said with a hearty laugh.
When she’s not helping prepare and serve breakfast at the shelters, she answers phones at the Micah service center nearby and retrieves mail for the guests. Many of them have full-time jobs but are still dealing with housing insecurity.
“Sister Annice is so wonderful. She is a joy,” said Volunteer Coordinator Brooke Graham. “We love her so much. Her goal is to love, and she sets that up as an example for other people. People can see what she does and say hey, I can do that too.”
Over the last 15 years, her meal team has provided well over 5,000 meals to guests in the shelters. Numerous times, Sister Annice has taken on the task of cooking additional meals to celebrate holidays, using food items on hand to create a feast.
“The objective is to help people in whatever we can,” explained Sister Annice. “We can’t always help them as much as we’d like to. But the effort is always there.”
Sister Annice’s old-fashioned hospitality communicates warmth and care to guests, staff, and community members. She really enjoys building rapport with others, and her goal in volunteering is to bring a sense of goodness, joy, and blessing into the lives of the guests she serves.
“I’m so grateful I’m still able to do this. People will remember you precisely the way that you lived out your values and your calling in such a selfless way.”
For more information on all the work of St. John’s Ministries, click here.