New Endeavors honored long-time supporter Ann McCormick with this year’s Mary Popit Partner in Caring Award.
Ann was working in Congressman Pete Stark’s office alongside Anne Raffaelli, who became a loyal NEW supporter, and Mary Popit, who would later become NEW’s Executive Director, and saw the good work they were doing with the newly opened New Endeavors by Women. Ann began enthusiastically volunteering, and by 1999 she was serving on the board, helping out with myriad initiatives: defining NEW’s needs for the new building, developing NEW’s strategic plan, drafting NEW’s investment policy; as well as NEW’s by-laws; and assisting in the sale of property.
“Serving NEW was appealing to me because this was a population I felt needed more attention,” Ann said. “I was attracted to the concept of trying to help homeless women.”
Ann’s first job out of college was in human service policy. But it was her Dad who really instilled in her the desire to help people in need. “Dad was a local town supervisor. On Saturdays we would go to the town hall to write local welfare checks. So from an early age I knew there were people who needed a little help,” she said.
Inn her quiet, yet strong, way, Ann has enjoyed supporting NEW through the years. “Once I got involved with NEW, I felt committed. It was like this was the thing where I wanted to make my contributions.”
With an impressive empathy for the women NEW serves, Ann acknowledged the challenges they face and the strength they need. “I’m lucky enough to have the equivalent of first world problems and these women don’t. If I had a drinking problem, or a drug problem, would I be able to get my life together? The women that are here are giving it a shot.”
Humbly, Ann said she was a little embarrassed by the award. “Anything I did was easy compared to what the NEW women have to go through to get their lives together,” she said.
New Endeavors by Women is so important, Ann said. “There’s always going to be some people who need help. The NEW women are motivated and they just need the attention. NEW exists for them so that they can capitalize on their own desire to succeed. Especially in a town like DC that is so focused on what you do. People don’t notice these women. To the extent that I can do something to help that out, I will do it.”