Retiree Ann McGinley has been saving babies’ lives as a volunteer with Mothers’ Milk Bank at Austin for over 14 years.
Ann McGinley is not only one of the most loyal volunteers at Mothers’ Milk Bank at Austin, but also one of the most loved. When Ann retired in 2006, she knew she wanted to use her background in chemistry to help others but wasn’t sure where that skill set might fit. Mothers’ Milk Bank at Austin supplies healthy, natural human breastmilk to preterm and medically fragile babies all over Texas, and the process requires strict attention to science – turns out this was a perfect fit for Ann!
Now for more than 14 years, Ann has volunteered at the milk bank twice a week, mostly in the milk processing lab. Studies have shown that fragile babies in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) fare much better when fed human milk instead of formula, but many times milk from a baby’s mother may not be available and donor human milk may be necessary – in the lab, milk is sampled to determine its protein, fat, and lactose amount. With this information, “pools” of milk created to meet the nutritional needs of tiny and sick babies.
Ann’s dedication to MMBA extends beyond just being a volunteer. She has taken on many roles, helped train some of their staff, and has become more like family to them. When the pandemic hit and Mothers’ Milk Bank could no longer accept volunteers, Ann even suggested that they hire her on so she could continue to help – with the idea that she would get to donate her paychecks immediately back to them.
“Ann is a regular face around here and we are so grateful for her service and dedication to MMBA’s mission to save babies,” says volunteer coordinator Diana Still.”
Ann’s countless hours of dedication have helped families in Central Texas immensely – we thank her for her service and selflessness. For more on MMBA’s mission and how you can get involved, check out their website.