Her birth mother’s compassionate act of giving her up for adoption has significantly and positively impacted Angela Stinson’s life of service and compassion for others. It is also one of the reasons why she volunteers so much of her time to help others.
“After living in a convent for unwed teen mothers, my birth mother allowed me to be adopted. I was raised and cared for by two loving parents who made sure I was never neglected or deprived. I learned discipline, the importance of education, self-respect and respect for others and my community, and developed a strong work ethic under the love and care of my great uncle and great aunt. God also allowed me to get to know and develop a relationship with my birth mother, who is now 87 years old, my siblings, nieces, nephews and other relatives,” Angela said.
Born and raised in Milwaukee, Angela graduated from Rufus King International High School. Right out of school, she was hired as a teaching assistant at West Division High School (now High School of the Arts). She later became a paraprofessional with Milwaukee Public Schools while attending the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, earning a bachelor’s degree in social work and welfare. She then earned a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from National Louis University—Illinois and became a certified classroom teacher for 21 years with Milwaukee Public Schools. She was also a finance specialist and personnel supervisor for the Army National Guard. Several of her military tours included Fort Sill in Oklahoma; Schofield Barracks in Honolulu, Hawaii; and Fort McCoy in Wisconsin. She also served during the Desert Storm conflict. She retired as a staff sergeant E-6 after 20 years of service.
Baptized and raised as a member of St. Matthew’s Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, Angela retired from Milwaukee Public Schools in 2011. Unsure of what to do next, she sought God for guidance and direction. She didn’t have to look far for opportunities to volunteer her talents. Angela began tutoring children at her church in various subjects for a year and eventually, she joined the Ida Mae Black Missionary Society and became fully engaged in servant leadership positions. She is chairperson of the Mary Turner Circle, which serves the sick and shut-in by visiting members of the church in nursing homes and hospitals, as well as assisting with taking members to medical appointments when needed. She also serves as the correspondence secretary, sending get-well cheer and uplifting sympathy cards to members and families.
The Ida Mae Black Missionary society is a part of the Milwaukee District and the 3rd Episcopal district of the CME Church’s Southeast Missouri, Illinois and Wisconsin Region. It provides funds for various initiatives such as Helena B. Cobbs Scholarship (helping young men and women who are college bound), S.O. S. (Save Our Sons) scholarship for young men. In addition, the society supports Hunger Meals for Millions and overseas missions.
Angela is a member of Church Women United- Milwaukee Unit and has served as memorial chairperson for four years. Church Women United (CWU) is comprised of women of many Christian denominations who work together using resources, and money God has entrusted to the missions of Christ. Church Women United helps agencies like Boudicca, Guadalupe, Children’s Hospital Safe Harbor and VETS Place with gifts, clothing, donations, toys and so much more. Each month the CWU meetings are held at a member church.
Angela was also honored in 2018 as Missionary of the Year for exemplary, dedicated and faithful service by the Ida Mae Black Missionary Society.
“The last five years as one of the advisors for St. Matthew’s Blanket of Love sanctuary has been near and dear to my heart. The infant mortality rate in Milwaukee is at a crisis. In 2019, 100 babies died in Milwaukee before their first birthdays. Our Blanket of Love Sanctuary church ministry supports families, young pregnant mothers and young fathers-to-be by connecting them to resources. Many of these young people need pre-natal care, ongoing medical care, housing, education and job preparation and a lot of love; so we are here to help them however we can,” she said.
Angela is a member of Milwaukee North Sunrise Rotary Club. Rotary’s goal is to build peace and a better life for people in their communities, where people connect, unite, and take action to create lasting change across the world and in communities promoting peace and conflict resolutions.
“I wanted to be able to give back in some way by volunteering my time when and where it’s needed. I wanted to use my time and vigor for making a positive difference in people’s lives. I want to return some of the love and compassion I received throughout my life. Someone poured compassion, love and caring into my life, and if there are ways I can pay it forward—large or small—I want to do that. As an educator, I was able to touch the future—our children—as well as help adults achieve a better quality of life. I’m grateful that I can continue serving and can use my talents beyond retirement,” she said.