|McMullen has shattered the glass ceiling mulitple times.
Mission Viejo resident, Sally McMullen, spends a good portion of her spare time at the hospital, but not because she is ill, but rather because she wants to.
McMullen, 77, is a “Patient Visitor” at Mission Hospital where she volunteers on a regular basis.
“I talk with patients and/or their families to assess their needs, monitor the service they are receiving, explain the various hospital services available to them, and address issues that are of concern to them,” she says. “Sometimes, the patient just wants someone to talk with ... so we ‘visit.’ I am also vice president of the auxiliary planning programs and organizing social events.”
McMullen has always enjoyed volunteering at chose Mission Hospital because, “My husband had outstanding care while there and in appreciation, I wanted to ‘give back’ to the hospital. I have always enjoyed helping others.”
In her formidable years, she was a wedding coordinator and caterer for 25 years in Palos Verdes.
“I loved meeting with people, planning and executing their events,” she says. “I also taught school for 8 years prior to becoming a mother.”
She recalls early on that she dreamed of a career as a Missionary, as well as a wife and mother.
“Now that I ponder this, although I never went into the ‘mission field,’ maybe I did ... as a wife and mother ... and didn’t know it,” she says.
As a volunteer, McMullen mentions that it is an area that gives not only life, but purpose to her being.
“It brings me into the world of others where I learn and grow through various experiences,” she notes.
The best part about her volunteering efforts is by far working with a great group of volunteers toward a common goal, plus meeting and helping people in their time of need.
Born and raised in Huntington Park, Calif., McMullen says in order to get the most out of volunteering, one must “come with a love for people, patience and a servant's heart to make it a rewarding experience.”
She credits her own mentors for helping define who she is today.
“In reflecting on my life, I realize it has been (and continues to be) filled with a wide variety of mentors ... both younger and older than myself. It is through the people God puts into our lives and experiences that we have that help shape us into who we are today. If I had to choose just one earthly hero/mentor, however, it would have to be my husband.”
Always one for learning and meeting new people, McMullen shares that given the opportunity, she would like to meet Condoleezza Rice, the former National Security Advisor and current Secretary of State.
“Every life has a story behind it but her life has been so varied it would be fun to meet her and talk first-hand about her incredible life's journey,” McMullen says.
A widow, McMullen was married for 49 years and a parent to seven children; now she is a grandmother to 13.
This graduate of USC likes reading, walking, visiting with friends, numerous activities and playing games with her grandchildren when she isn’t at the hospital helping others cope.
Her life philosophy is simple: “Life is a journey, God is in control and we don't get a ‘redo’... so live, love and laugh regardless of the circumstances ... don't take yourself too seriously ... be able to laugh at yourself.”