Skip to navigation

What we're up to

news News Friday, June 14, 2019 Friday, June 14, 2019 11:39 AM - Friday, June 14, 2019 11:39 AM

Tour guide named Male Volunteer of the Year for 2019

Tour guide named Male Volunteer of the Year for 2019

By Mary Schille

If you want to know everything about Shriners Hospitals for Children — Tampa, just tag along with Amor McCommons as he leads a tour. Known to friends as “Mac,” Mr. McCommons is a walking Google of all things Shriners. That depth of knowledge, paired with his passion for the hospital’s mission, led to his being named the hospital’s 2019 Male Volunteer of the Year.

Mr. McCommons' path to the hospital began when he became a Mason in 1954. “They stand for helping the community. They believe helping others makes us better people,” he said.

In 2007, Mr. McCommons joined the Egypt Shriners in Tampa, Florida. Friendly, knowledgeable, and compassionate, Mr. McCommons became a tour guide for the Tampa Shriners Hospital in 2015. By giving tours, Mr. McCommons raises awareness about the history and importance of the hospital’s mission of caring for children with orthopaedic conditions, regardless of their families’ ability to pay.

“I love the chance to tell the public about what our hospital stands for, and how our work helps provide care for the children,” he said. Mr. McCommons is so committed to spreading the word about the Tampa Shriners Hospital’s mission that he often gives tours throughout the week, in addition to his assigned volunteer days.

During his tours, Mr. McCommons discusses how the children thrive after receiving care. “I like to emphasize why the Tampa Hospital is here, and why the community should be involved, and help us support our mission. I tell other groups like teachers and church members, to come to the Tampa Shriners Hospital and take a tour. You never know who will be able to help,” he said.

Warm and friendly, Mr. McCommons takes a moment to greet two young parents whose child is having surgery. “Good things are happening here today,” Mr. McCommons assures them.

Mr. McCommons says the patients inspire him. “I am in awe of our children’s strength and courage in spite of all the challenges they experience,” he said.

One of his favorite memories is of a 5- or 6-year-old girl, who had just been fitted with ankle foot braces. ”She was so excited to be able to stand up and begin walking,” Mr. McCommons recalled. “She gave me a stick figure drawing she made of a Shriner, with a fez hat on. I think it was supposed to be a picture of me. Then she thanked me,” Mr. McCommons said.

While taking some local schoolchildren on a tour, Mr. McCommons points out how care helps patients succeed. “Having artificial limbs does not have to limit someone’s life,” Mr. McCommons tells them. “One of our patients lost his foot in a car accident. The boy received a prosthetic foot and underwent rehab at our hospital. Eventually, the boy went on to play soccer in college.”