PARKVILLE, MD---Inspired by the Lewis Carroll quote "all that is really worth doing is what we do for others," Ilse Harrop has made service her life's mission.
That selflessness was recognized when Ms. Harrop, a resident of Oak Crest retirement community, received induction into the Maryland Senior Citizens Hall of Fame on October 17th at Michael's Eighth Avenue in Glen Burnie.
She was part of the Class of 2013, comprised of thirty-six (36) citizens from across the state.
The Maryland Senior Citizens Hall of Fame is a nonprofit organization that seeks to immortalize men and women and to record their names in the Archives of the Hall of Fame because of their caring and volunteer efforts. More information can be found at www.mschf.org.
Interestingly, Ms. Harrop began as a child to volunteer in her home country of Germany. She performed errands for elderly neighbors, taught a group of young girls about nature and German culture (classical music, literature, etc.) and collected used baby clothing for refugee mothers arriving at the hospital with nothing during World War II.
At age 19, she left Germany and moved to the United States. Ms. Harrop joined the American Red Cross as a Bloodmobile volunteer. She also co-founded the Johns Hopkins University Graduate Student Wives Association.
In 1968, her focus shifted to her two young sons, starting as a den mother and den leader coach with the Cub Scouts. She was a member of the Roland Park Public School's PTA, and when her sons reached high school, she joined the Poly Parents Association at Baltimore Polytechnic Institute. Ms. Harrop was the first female elected, and then re-elected, as its President.
Ms. Harrop worked full-time with the Intellectually Gifted Child Study Group of Johns Hopkins University for five years. From there, she went to the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health for seventeen years to work in a research lab helping to write and edit scientific papers.
In retirement, Ms. Harrop volunteered for the Red Cross Holocaust and War Victims Tracing Center, the purpose of which was to provide free resources to unite U.S. residents with loved ones who had been missing since the Holocaust.
She served as a translator for the organization and enhanced its database utilizing her research and computer skills. For her efforts, Ms. Harrop was presented with the Red Cross Volunteer of the Month recognition in March, 2001, and two years later, the Red Cross Special Citation for Exceptional Service.
Moving to Oak Crest in 1998 provided Ms. Harrop a new range of opportunities. She was a member of the Oak Crest Chorus & Chorale and the Media Arts Club. Ms. Harrop served on a health care-related committee on the Residents' Advisory Council.
Most recently, she took part in two intergenerational programs with the Baltimore County Public School System and Loyola University, respectively.
Currently, she is an editor for newsletters and other publications at Oak Crest, and she participates in the community's monthly project with Our Daily Bread Employment Center.
This extensive commitment earned her the President's Volunteer Service Award in 2011.
[caption id="attachment_75360" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Ilse Harrop displays a certificate following her induction into the Maryland Senior Citizens Hall of Fame on October 17th. Ms. Harrop, a resident of Oak Crest retirement community, has volunteered in the Baltimore-area for over sixty years. She is pictured with her sons, John (left) and Gerhard (right).[/caption]
About Oak Crest: Oak Crest is one of sixteen continuing care retirement communities managed by Erickson Living. Located in Parkville, Maryland, the scenic 87-acre campus is home to more than 2,100 residents. Oak Crest is the ideal greater Baltimore retirement destination offering a true sense of community, convenience beyond compare and a sensible financial structure.