Feb 232012

Current board chair and long-term supporter of Mission Centers of Houston since the 80s, Marc Schwartz reminisced recently over his first experience volunteering at one of our centers. “I was standing back in the kitchen in Gano,” he related wryly, “boiling hot dogs.” Schwartz’s initial connection with Mission Centers came through his church, Memorial Drive Baptist, and an end-of-the-year school party that they helped to provide for some of our youth. Over time, Schwartz and his wife became more and more involved with volunteer work at Mission Centers: from tutoring to fundraising expertise to board membership, their investment in the community is truly an invaluable one.

Schwartz is a self-described “Airforce brat,” born in California and living in a variety of states and countries before finally settling down in Texas where his career in forensic accounting landed him over 25 years ago. His family’s vocational interests are as interesting as his own: a son involved with pastoral ministry, a daughter whose background is in nuclear engineering, his wife’s long-term administrative work in the medical profession and — perhaps most importantly of all — the full-time occupation of curiosity and energy displayed by his 2 1/2 year old grandson. In addition to his familiarity with litigation and accounting-related work, Schwartz also holds an avid interest in both scuba diving and international travel.

With a personal history in which his own great-great-grandparents immigrated from Mexico to the US due to political instability and aslyum-seeking, Schwartz mentioned that he feels a significant affinity with our community members and many of the issues that face them today. “I believe there is no reason why children shouldn’t have a choice in experiencing a successful life in their future,” he shared. Schwartz’s main commitment with Mission Centers revolves around his position as board chair. He presides over board meetings, oversees strategic moves, focuses on creating and stabilizing fundraising initiatives, pursues partnerships with other key organizations, and seeks to aid executive director, Ginger Smith, in a shared vision for the Center’s role as a Christ-centered, proactive change agent in the community. “Christ told us — as often as we do for the least of these, we do it for Him. That’s always been close to me,” Schwartz stated with conviction.

To follow in Schwartz’s foosteps and learn more about the many volunteer opportunities we have at Mission Centers of Houston, look here: http://www.missioncenters.org/volunteer.html.

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