“I just live every day to the highest and always find a way to give” is the personal philosophy of Vivian Mildred Bailey, affectionately called “Millie” or “Aunt Millie.” Born and raised in the Deep South, Ms. Bailey served in the United States Army during WWII as a Lieutenant and commanded a women’s unit.

Ms. Bailey, a social security administration reviewer, has been officially retired since 1975 and for the past forty years excelled in giving back to her community – working with children, serving on community boards and commissions, and leading support for our troops in overseas war zones.

In 2015, in recognition of her decades of service to youth, the Millie Bailey Fund was established by Mary and Earl Armiger as a designated permanent fund within the Community Foundation of Howard County. Donations contributed to the fund support programs at Running Brook Elementary School and many other organizations.  At Running Brook, Ms. Bailey, for years, had identified and analyzed needs and then proceeded to secure community support to enhance the quality of education for not only her favorite school but others as well. The fund is a permanent tribute to her philanthropy.

From 1982 – 1993, she served on the Maryland Health Resources Planning Commission and was a significant participant in the approval of the first MRIs and first CT Scanners in the state. Later, she was elected to the Howard County General Hospital Board of Trustees where she developed a reputation as a detailed reviewer of facts and issues – skills she honed in her years of employment with the Social Security Administration.  She was not only a board member but a perpetual contributor to the hospital’s development plan.

Ms. Bailey, in addition to spending time on the advisory boards in health, education and police, found time to coordinate a community effort to send boxes of supplies and snacks to troops in Afghanistan. Since 2004, it is estimated that more than 8,000 troops have received care packages, which includes cookies, purchased snacks, personal hygiene supplies, coffee and tea, and other items soldiers want but can’t get, such as books, DVDs, video games and playing cards.

A vanguard, the former WWII army officer, who continues to serve as she nears her 101st birthday, states, “You need to give back to the community.  I would like to see people – to the extent that they can – contribute.  When you shop for groceries, pick up extra cans of vegetables and take them to the Howard County Food Bank.  Buy extra school supplies for kids every fall and take them to a school where parents might be hard pressed to buy supplies for their children.  Some people are not mindful that in Howard County we have needs.  Those small contributions mean something and will help so much.”

While not physically able to perform as in previous years, her presence at events and lectures inspires us all.  We, all, look to February 3rd, and with God’s Grace, a celebration of 101 years of a great life.

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