Five minutes with: Mae Ewert

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You might think the city would run out of ways to honor Mae Ewert of New Life Community in Dinuba, California. At 100 years of age, Ewert continues a lifetime of community involvement that earned her Dinuba’s Distinguished Citizen Award in 2016, Grand Marshall of the Raisin Day Parade in 2018 and an honorary membership in the Dinuba Kiwanis Club. In 2023 the Chamber of Commerce added “Community Hero” to the list of recognitions, honoring her as “a shining example of what it means to age gracefully and with purpose.”

Ewert gave up her driver’s license a few years ago, and in 2011 she lost Albert, her husband and partner in community ministry. But the losses haven’t curbed her passion. Today much of her serving happens from her kitchen table where she sits with stacks of correspondence and boxes of cards and stationery. She laid aside her pen on a recent morning for an interview reflecting on her service.

How did you get started serving your community?

It seems like we’ve always been involved. Albert was a teacher so we met lots of people in the community when we moved here in 1947. He held different offices in the Historical Society and Kiwanis. I liked being with Albert and I liked helping so I always got involved, too.

What are some other community organizations you are involved in?

When our girls were in school, I was in the PTA. Later I joined the Dinuba Woman’s Club and helped to start Dinuba Friends of the Library.

What involvement has been most meaningful for you?

Our church has meant a lot to us, and the community service most dear to our hearts was the Sister City Program. Albert was the chair of that group, and we were very involved in the exchange program. I would help round up homes for the students to stay in. We personally visited our sister city of Malsch, Germany, three times. I’m still in touch with three families there.

Why is your correspondence so important to you?

It just comes natural. I started out pretty young. I have a certificate from second grade for writing the best letter on letter-writing day. I’ve always made it a point when someone does something special to acknowledge it with a note.  Sending notes of encouragement, gratitude and cards for special occasions helps me. It keeps me going. And a lot of times it helps the other person too. The postman says I’m his best customer.

Is there a Scripture that encourages you in your service?

This is the verse I put in my life story journal: “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.” I Peter 4:10

1 COMMENT

  1. Mae is an inspiration and encouragement to me as I lead New Life Community. In 2019, we shifted our church focus outward toward transformational community ministries. Mae has been doing that for decades! Her legacy and spirit have made it easier for the community to trust us. Thank you for introducing her to the wider MB family!

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