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Joyce Brammer

First Central Credit Union - Juntos Avanzamos

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This is a monthly feature highlighting someone whose good works may otherwise go relatively unnoticed. To submit someone for consideration, email ksury@wacotrib.com.


Joyce Brammer knows she won’t be working at Mission Waco forever, but as long as her health lets her, she doesn’t see herself stopping anytime soon.

Brammer’s title with Mission Waco might be development director as she is in charge of the nonprofit’s fundraising, but she doesn’t believe titles mean much at Mission Waco.

“We all just roll up our sleeves and help everyone else around here,” she said, adding that she prefers being in a more behind-the-scenes role with the nonprofit.

But as Mission Waco President and co-founder Jimmy Dorrell will tell you, she’s the one who makes fundraising events like the annual banquet, style show, golf tournament and Champions of Christian Service Breakfast go off without a hitch.

She’s also passionate about the seasonal projects she oversees: the Back-to-School Backpack drive and the Christmas Toy Store. It was at the toy store where she began volunteering after she and Chris started attending Church Under the Bridge and felt moved to help those facing life’s challenges.

She worked 20 years in administration at Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center before retiring, but that didn’t last long for the self-professed workaholic. Brammer had already been involved as a volunteer with Mission Waco, but with more time available she became chairman of the volunteer board and it wasn’t long before she filled a staff spot when Dorrell told her, “We could use you in job development,” and she knew she couldn’t say no.

Thankfully it wasn’t too long before she transitioned into the fundraising role that puts her where she’s most comfortable. She’s been on staff with Mission Waco for 16 years.

“I prefer being behind the scenes and helping to make things happen,” she said. “I have the administrative end that impacts the big picture.”

She also manages the resale store, The Clothesline. Profits from it benefit Mission Waco’s substance abuse and recovery program, the Manna House.

“There’s a lot of need here in Waco and we’re all just trying to do our part,” she said.

She fought cancer two years ago, after being diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer. She had chemotherapy treatment and is cautiously optimistic that it won’t return.

“I don’t fret about it,” she said. “I don’t have time for that.”

Seeing the work that Mission Waco does and how it helps those affected by poverty and other hardships puts things in perspective for her.

“It reminds me how blessed I am,” she said. “The issues of my life don’t light a candle to their lives. I just hope I can humbly help them make the connections to improve their lives.”

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