Mary Kay Hood
For Mary Kay Hood, community means a lot of things – the place you live, the infrastructure, the people. It also involves having the resources you need to live a full life within your community. Hood has dedicated her life to serving the community and helping people find those resources.
Service is not just a part of her life, but a part of who she is, thanks to her parents. She said they set an example as committed members of service organizations like the Knights of Columbus and American Business Women’s Association. Hood shared, “It’s just something I’ve always done – it’s part of my DNA.”
This led Hood to a career in community service beginning with the Indianapolis Zoo in 1988. She later transitioned to the Hendricks Regional Hospital, where she played an integral role in educating employees on the importance of giving back to the community.
Hood served as the United Way Chairperson for many years and was heavily involved with developing United Way’s office and board leadership in Hendricks County. She’s been one of the biggest supporters of United Way in Hendricks county for more than 17 years.
Over time, she has served as advisory board chair, vice chair, secretary and volunteer for United Way. She chaired the Wings of Golf outing and the Breakfast of Champions for 15 years, raising thousands of dollars for United Way agencies. “Mary Kay Hood leads by example, is a visionary, and has served not only United Way in Hendricks County but the whole United Way of Central Indiana region,” said her 100 Heroes nominator, Susan Friend.
Hood’s dedication to service also extends to Leadership Hendricks County. She helped develop a human services program to inform future county leaders about the importance of human services organizations.
When asked what motivates her to help, Hood shared this: “It’s my community and I want it to be the best it can be. If not me, who? It feels good to do good work.” She encourages others to volunteer and stresses the wonderful people she has met in her volunteering journey.
Although Hood has made substantial impact in Hendricks County, she knows the work is not done there. “I want it to remain a viable, stable, safe community where people can live and grow. More locally, I would like to see us get our hands around the opioid and mental health issues.”