Margaret Clinard of Greensboro has been a lifelong advocate for children with a special talent for mobilizing others to meet their needs. Over the past 25 years or so, 100 children for whom she has provided foster care through the Children’s Home Society of North Carolina have affectionately called her “Momma.”
You would think a houseful of children in limited public housing quarters would be enough to satisfy her motherly instincts. But that has never been the case. Where she has seen children in need, she has responded – organizing a baseball team in her Hampton Homes neighborhood and gathering up at-risk kids from around Greensboro to expand their experiences and motivate them through Future Ladies and Men of Tomorrow.
Margaret Clinard is resourceful. She knows where potential help lies, and she is willing to ask for it. Children come into her home with special needs. She becomes their advocates, finding tutorial services or creating them herself. She works with teachers, counselors and others whose lives or professions touch those of her children. She urges young people to be the best they can be, and she constantly looks for ways to help them take another step forward.
This woman with limited education herself has taught trained, social service professionals many a lesson. They speak of her compassion, her unconditional love, her advocacy for children while also noting that she is consistent, that she has rules, and that she has expectations. One of those expectations is that a child will remain in school and achieve to the best of his or her ability.