Meet Mae Goldman - Celebrating 15 Years of Service with SDBB


Mae Goldman is a treasured member of the SDBB family – she's a dedicated volunteer, selfless blood donor and a generous financial supporter. Chances are that you have met Mae Goldman in the East County Donor Center (ECDC) canteen or have been greeted by her at one of SDBB’s many mobile blood drives.  On September 15, Mae celebrates a big milestone – 15 years of volunteer service with SDBB. 

Read more about her story below.

Mae was a regular blood donor with San Diego Blood Bank when she saw a sign about volunteering. Mae joined the East County Donor Center Volunteer roster in 2004 shortly after she retired from 38 years as an elementary school teacher. Mae has dedicated between 800 and 1000 hours to San Diego Blood Bank donor centers and mobile drives each year with a total of more than 11,000 hours served over the past 15 years. Mae shared that donating her time makes her feel like she’s doing something important and for a great cause – saving lives.

Mae is amazing and will show up to help rain or shine. If someone is sick, Mae is there. She keeps the ECDC volunteer schedules organized and orders all of the canteen items. She truly makes a difference for our center and has proven to be a dedicated supporter of SDBB over her 15 years of service with us. I don’t know what we would do without her.
— Shelly Rufenacht, Assistant Manager at SDBB’s East County Donor Center

Shelly also shared that Mae keeps track of all the volunteer birthdays to make sure that everyone at ECDC is included and celebrated. It was clear - everyone at ECDC enjoys spending time with Mae Goldman and truly appreciates her commitment. 

To Mae, ECDC is like home – a place where the employees and donors are like family. She says they are a fantastic group of people who are cooperative and work well together. She manages the volunteer schedules, so works closely with all of the ECDC volunteers. 

ECDC has become a special place for her to spend 4 hours every Tuesday and oftentimes more days depending on the volunteer schedule or if someone can’t make their shift. Pictures of ECDC volunteers and their names don the cabinets in the canteen. A quilt made of “vintage” SDBB blood donor t-shirts hangs on the wall. Staff members gush about how much they love and appreciate Mae—it’s a happy place for all. 

Volunteering with San Diego Blood Bank has provided me the opportunity to engage in meaningful conversations, meet interesting people and learn more about how valuable blood is. The staff and donors make the volunteers feel appreciated. Having met many blood recipients makes me feel thankful for being healthy and able to enjoy my family and friends, and to participate in everyday life.
— Mae Goldman

Beyond supporting SDBB, traveling has become a big part of Mae’s life since she retired from teaching. One memorable trip was visiting and experiencing the beaches of Normandy. Additionally, traveling to Belgium provided a view into the aftermath of how WWI and WWII affected the region and how those events continue to affect the people there to this day. One of her fondest memories was backpacking through the Virgin Rainforest in Australia with her son when he was a senior in high school. As the oldest and youngest members of the travel group, they enjoyed the exotic trek through the rainforest despite the dangers that come with the adventure like leeches and native wildlife. While she could be considered to have an adventurous spirit, she definitely prefers to travel with friends or family and a trusty guide. 

Mae is a proud mother of two and grandparent to two granddaughters. She learned all she could about lacrosse and tennis so when she attends her high school and college age grandkids’ sports games she can follow along and support from the sidelines. Each month, she and a group of friends get together to explore San Diego—visiting local wineries and enjoying museums.

In the past, Mae has enjoyed making quilts for friends and family and at one point was selling some of her creations. Mae hopes to get back into quilting when she can find the time. 

Mae is the Treasurer of the Retired Teachers Association. Through the RTA, she volunteers with many local charities such as St. Madeline Sophie’s Center and Rady’s Auxiliary.

Thank you, Mae, for your generous support and commitment to our mission. It’s because of givers like you that SDBB can continue its work.

To learn more about volunteering with San Diego Blood Bank contact Wetzfalia Guerrero at (619) 400-8137 or visit