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She Helps Keep Doors Open

November 02, 2000|LYNN O'DELL

Madeleine Brown knows that when it comes to volunteering, much of the work is done behind the scenes.

Answering phones, taking minutes at meetings, stocking shelves, helping with fund-raisers, running out to the bank and the office-supply store--that's the nitty-gritty of volunteer work.

Brown knows because she does it 20 hours a week at Share Our Selves, a Costa Mesa agency that helps those living in poverty find food, clothing, financial aid, and medical and dental care. A volunteer there for 20 years, Brown recently received the Volunteer Center of Orange County's inaugural Alyce Cook Memorial Award for "behind-the-scenes" volunteering.

"She's a dynamo. She does it all," said Karen McGlinn, executive director of SOS. "We may be ready to leave at night but she's still here.

"We have a 30-year history of giving service and she's a representative of the many volunteers who have been here over the years," McGlinn added. "Our doors would not be open tomorrow if not for people like Madeleine."

Brown received the award from the Volunteer Center at a reception last month. Her name will be the first inscribed on a permanent plaque at the Santa Ana-based center.

The award honors Cook, a 15-year volunteer who died in April at age 85. Cook regularly put in 25 to 40 hours a week at the center, handling computer-data entry for the senior-volunteer program and keeping track of 1,300 seniors who logged more than 270,000 volunteer hours throughout Orange County last year.

Volunteer awards usually go to those in the public eye. "But Alyce was behind the scenes, so we needed [this] award," said Debbie Dalton, director of the senior-volunteer program. "And Madeleine was perfect for it. She was all over the place doing everything."

To be considered for this column, please send information on the Orange County person being honored, along with a photograph, to Lynn O'Dell, Los Angeles Times Orange County edition, 1375 Sunflower Ave., Costa Mesa, CA 92626. (714) 283-5685.

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