Blessed with a 44-year marriage, four children and 14 grandchildren, Terry Clougherty believes she has a fairy tale life. So donating her spare time to charitable endeavors comes naturally with her goal to make a positive difference in other people’s lives. “I just love giving my time to others,” Terry said. “I don’t expect anything in return. I just do it because it makes me feel good.”
When her children were growing up, Terry’s parent volunteer years were spent first in Tucson at St. Peter and Paul Catholic School, then at both Mayfield Junior and Senior Schools and Loyola High School, where she has held many leadership positions and continues to be involved.
One of her greatest passions is her volunteer involvement with the Christ Child Society of Pasadena, which she joined about two decades ago. “I just fell in love with it; we are the largest nonprofit organization in Pasadena and around the area – we have over 500 members and the people in it are my best friends,”
Christ Child is an organization that was founded more than 125 years ago in Washington, D.C.; and there are over 50 chapters in the United States with
approximately 7,000 members. “We have one common bond that each chapter does – we make layettes for infants and newborns who are unable to go home with a blanket,” explained Terry, who served as past president of the
Pasadena organization and has held numerous positions on the board. She also spent four two-year terms on the Christ Child National Board.
In related efforts, Terry and a couple other ladies with Christ Child launched a new program called Christ Child Treasures in which volunteers teach etiquette and manners to fifth grade boys and girls. “We received a national award for the Treasures program and our goal is to spread it around the community,” Terry said.
Each Christ Child chapter has a choice in how to address needs in the community it serves. “Ours is hands-on. We do a reading program at St. Andrews and Treasures at St. Andrews. For every parish in our area, we give money to families in need at Easter time to buy Easter shoes. And we give them money and gift certificates at Christmas so they can purchase gifts or food for their families. So we give money to people who need it the most.”
For Terry, volunteering with Christ Child “has been really fun. I like that Christ Child helps children,” she said. “I’ve been blessed to be able to spend my time in different communities helping children no matter what the need might be, and raising money for different causes.”
Terry is also actively involved with the Junior League of Pasadena, an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women and improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers.
“Years ago, we collected clothes and had a huge sale at the convention center where we’d raise $75,000 to $100,000 for the Junior League of Tucson,” recalled Terry, who won a Nancy Reed Payne Achievement Award in 2004 for making an exceptional contribution throughout her Junior League career.
In other involvements, Terry and her husband, Anthony, are long-time members of St. Felicitas and Perpetua Parish in San Marino. Terry is also a member of Life So Cal, Descanso Gardens, Ascending Lights, Right to Life and the Pregnancy Help Center, and is the current president of the Chapman Woods Association.
She believes her drive for volunteerism and helping those in need was inspired by her early involvement with Girl Scouts, as well as the strong spirituality exhibited by her grandmother and great-grandmother. “They were both
religious and very giving,” Terry remembered. She also has fond memories of attending church with her parents. “Every Christmas and every Easter we’d get all dolled up and we’d go to mass, and I really enjoyed going to mass.”
When she got her driver’s license at age 16, she started driving herself to church every Sunday.
“Maybe it was calling me because I needed it,” she said. “I liked going to church and my friends were Catholic. And I dated a couple guys that were Catholic and they were just nice people so I continued.”
Her love for Catholicism further solidified when she was 20 years old and met her future husband, Anthony, at a dance at St. Mary’s College. She soon discovered Anthony grew up attending Catholic schools and as a result, was
immersed in the faith.
“I thought, this guy’s been so lucky to go to Catholic school and he 100 percent got me on board,” Terry said. “We went to church every Sunday. And my children and grandchildren, to this day, go to mass.”
Looking back on her life, Terry said raising four beautiful children is her greatest accomplishment. “I’ve had a good life – I feel so blessed to marry Anthony and his beautiful family – it’s incredible the love that his family shares with one another…through thick and thin.”
When Terry received the phone call from Archbishop Gomez asking her to accept a Cardinal’s Award, she said, “I was like wow – I didn’t expect this. The honor is a privilege.”
“When I get up and get dressed and do my volunteer work, I get pleasure out of it. Knowing I’m making a difference in someone’s life just makes me feel good and I don’t need a reward.”