“Our Faith Calls Us to Action”
Volunteer – Maryann Boord
By Kathy Gaito
“You will be blessed. You will meet people in need who will inspire you by their faith and hope, and work with people who will inspire you with their passion and generosity of spirit.” – Maryann Boord responding to the question: If someone were to ask you why they should volunteer in the Diocese, what would you tell them?
Maryann Boord has been volunteering in the Diocese for more than 45 years and has every intention of adding many more years of service to her résumé. Early on, she served as a member and Chair of the Parish Council at Notre Dame Parish in Durham where she also chaired their very first Strawberry Festival. Some 20 years ago Maryann turned her focus to Haiti by helping with fundraising events at Notre Dame Parish which supported the Diocesan efforts in Haiti.
In 1994-1995 her husband, Pat, and she were Co-Directors of the Norwich Mission House in Port au Prince, Haiti. “Upon returning to the States, I was appointed to the Hospice St. Joseph (HSJ) Board of Directors and then continued as a Board member on the Outreach to Haiti (OTH) Board when the Hospice St. Joseph Board and the Haitian Ministry Board merged. I have served as Secretary to the HSJ Board and the OTH Board for many years,” Maryann recalls. Maryann is also a member of the Annual Gala Committee for Outreach to Haiti, which is their biggest fundraiser of the year. “We work all year planning this event, usually via monthly conference calls. In addition to planning, I am the contact person for the venue, handling the menu, set up, etc. and I do the seating and menu selection charts,” Maryann stated.
Her volunteerism extends well beyond her roles with Outreach to Haiti to include: a Lector and a member of the Catholic Outreach Committee at Notre Dame Parish in Durham; 2nd Vice President of the Durham Agricultural Fair Association; an Associate of the Sisters of Mercy since 1998 – recently elected Chair of the Mercy Center Board of Trustees (Hartford Diocese) and additionally serves as Co-Chair of their Mission Integration Committee. Maryann has also served the 6-year term limit on the St.Vincent de Paul Middletown Board of Directors, including the last several years as their Board’s Secretary.
When asked why she volunteers and what she enjoys most about her volunteer experiences, Maryann’s answer comes from her heart… “I feel called to share who I am, what I have received, and what I believe. I am very grateful that I am able to respond to the call to serve. I am healthy enough, strong enough, and free enough to say yes. I am blessed in return by those I serve and by those with whom I serve. I very much enjoy the diversity of my current volunteer roles. They allow me to enrich and share my spirituality, reach out and serve my community and beyond, stay physically and mentally active and remain connected to my Haitian brothers and sisters. There is a sense of fulfillment at the end of the day.”
Maryann’s volunteerism embodies the Outreach to Haiti motto, “Helping Haitians help Haitians.” Thank you Maryann Boord from all of us here at the Diocese of Norwich for your volunteerism. You are truly appreciated! Volunteers are vital to our ministries that are supported by the time, talent and treasures of people in our Diocese. Your support and the support of others allow our ministries to continue their service to our community. Thank you for hearing and responding to: “Our Faith Calls US To Action”!