|Burns has wanted to help the community her whole life.
Margery Burns of Mission Viejo is a former travel agent who ran her own agency for more than a decade. However, she recently sold it and now spends a good portion of her time volunteering at Mission Hospital.
“I am in charge of the Ways & Means Committee, which raises funds for whatever commitment the Auxiliary has made. At the present time, we have pledged $1 million to help pay for the new chapel. That takes a few years to fulfill,” she says. “I bring various vendors into Mission Hospital throughout the year that features different products. At the moment we have one selling uniforms. The sales are directed primarily at the 2,000-member staff, but the public likes to come to some of them.”
Each vendor contributes a percentage of their profits to the fund, she says.
“We staff the sales with members of the Auxiliary. The staff is allowed to charge items to a Payroll Deduction Form, so it gets deducted from their wages over a period of time,” she says.
Burns also work in the Gift Shop one morning a week; a shop that is exclusively staffed by Auxiliary members.
The 74-year-old says, “I was originally in marketing and advertising. The past 25 years, I have been a travel agent, owning my own business in Mission Viejo until 10 years ago, when I sold it. Now, I work with the agency that bought it.”
As a child, she dreamed of being a school teacher and says she has always volunteered. She does have quite a bit of education behind her including a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Massachusetts in English Literature and Elementary Education. She also holds a Certified Travel Consultant degree, which is the equivalent of a Master’s.
“When I lived in Tampa, I was involved with the Symphony Guild, the Cancer Guild, The Heart Fund and my church plus acting as room mother for my children’s classes,” she says. “My husband has volunteered at Mission for many years, and many of our friends do, so that’s where I settled.”
Burns says she opts to volunteer because she has been fortunate in her own background, education, family, and choices, and feels the need to help others since she has been so blessed.
“It gives me a strong purpose for sales and advertising are part of my nature, and I am good at it,” she continues. “I like the fact that I have been responsible for raising a specific amount of money for a specific goal.”
One of the things she likes best about volunteering at the hospital is the many people she comes in contact with.
However, sometimes, it’s a challenge working around “certain people who have no sense of what it takes to attract buyers and who set up impossible limitations on my efforts.”
Born and raised in Massachusetts her motto in life has always been be prepared to work hard. “My favorite quote is: ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto
you,’ ” she shares.
As a child; she says her father was a high school principal and a very giving and caring person.
“He loved what he did and the fact that he could make a difference in some of his students’ lives,” she says as to who was her mentor.
Married for 45 years, Burns has two children, three granddaughters and one grandson.
When she isn’t volunteering or working at the travel agency, Burns likes to play tennis, bridge, read and cook.
“Age is only a number,” she says.
Her ultimate dream is to one day visit Western Australia, but in terms of where she hopes to be in 5 years, she says, “right here.”