One Woman’s Dedication to History, to Veterans and to Her Community

Daily Point of Light # 7788 Apr 11, 2024

Meet Daily Point of Light Award honoree Marjean Neve. Read her story, and nominate an outstanding volunteer or family as a Daily Point of Light.

At the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library & Museum, Marjean Neve’s commitment shines brightly. Since 2016, Marjean has devoted over 1,400 hours of service, embodying the spirit of volunteerism and community engagement. Her dedication not only enriches the experiences of visitors to the museum but also honors the legacy of President George H.W. Bush.

Marjean’s warm demeaner, as well as her knowledge and enthusiasm, offer visitors a unique and informative experience, deepening their understanding of President Bush’s administration and the historical significance of his presidency.

Marjean also volunteers with a variety of other organizations that allow her to show appreciation for community members, from supporting veterans and their families to engaging in community improvement projects.

Read on to find out more about what inspires Marjean and how she got started with the initiatives she volunteers so passionately with.

Marjean in the Oval Office of the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum.

Tell us about your volunteer roles.

At the George H.W. Bush Library, my goal is to greet visitors, answer any questions, direct them to exhibits, be there to offer any help, chat with them if they want to chat and thank them.

I also help with taking pictures in the archives of some of the artifacts there. Another woman writes a description of them and I photograph them. It’s to keep a record of all the artifacts. There are so many tie tacks and little buttons!

I also volunteer with Quilts of Valor. It’s a national volunteer organization where we make quilts for military personnel and veterans. We gave out nine about a month ago. Next month we’ll be giving out six more. I have a list of places that have veterans who they want quilts to go to. The organization is picking up speed, becoming a lot more work than I anticipated, but I really enjoy it.

Why are these issues so important to you?

I had visited the Library several years before I moved down here. I took my grandsons to it and I was fascinated! I was really impressed with the docents there that day who answered questions and helped us out. When I moved here, I put in an application to volunteer. I’ve been here eight years now. I enjoy it, there’s always something to do. You get to meet people from all over.

As far as Quilts of Valor, I sew, I don’t quilt, so I ask for volunteers to do the quilting. But I enjoy putting the tops together. I also do more of the paperwork and organization. When we have the presentation of the quilts, the faces on the fellows when you say “thank you,” it’s really something. I had one gentleman who we were going to give a quilt to, he said he didn’t want it. He felt others had done so much more than him and deserved it more than him. I told him, it doesn’t matter. You gave up your life for four years. You still deserve a quilt. He was adamant, and I told him if he ever decides he wants one, we’ll have one for him. My mother and father were both in the military, in 1949 and 1950. They got married when they were both stationed in Japan for the Korean War. My mother was discharged when she was pregnant with me. My two brothers and my sister both served in the military too, so it holds a special place in my heart.

What’s been the most rewarding part of your work?

That’s a tough question. I want to do something for people, and if this is a small little way to do something, I can do it. We didn’t volunteer as a family when I was a child, but when I got married, my husband joined the Lions Club, and that was something he was very passionate about. So we as our little family, we would help him and volunteer with him. I’m still a Lions Club member. I also did Girl Scouts with my girls for 14 years. I was a troop leader, and then cookie mom. That was an experience – I had a room full of cookies!

What have you learned through your experiences as a volunteer?

I think through all of this, I’ve become a more patient person. You have to deal with so many personalities from so many different people. Patience has definitely been a big takeaway for me.

Marjean at an event with the Women’s Auxiliary of the American Legion.

Why is it important for others to get involved with causes they care about?

I think it’s our responsibility to create a better world, a better future for all of us. I just hope I’m setting a good example for my grandkids to follow.

Any advice for people who want to start volunteering?

Just do it! Just take that first step and do it. When I moved to Texas, I didn’t know anybody. I had to step out of my comfort zone. There were a couple places I went that weren’t for me, and then a few I did feel comfortable with. You just have to make that first step.

What do you want people to learn from your story?

There’s a quote from Barbara Bush that means a lot to me: “I don’t want the light to shine on me, but if it does, I want it to shine on someone or something else too.” This says a lot about how I feel about things. I always feel like I want to be in the background. Sometimes, I do have to step up, but I also think that any honor I get should reflect on others. So many people are doing more than me.

Do you want to make a difference in your community like Marjean? Find local volunteer opportunities.


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