St. Margaret's House Wins 2012 Leighton Award
The Community Foundation of St. Joseph County has named St. Margaret’s House, under the leadership of Kathy Schneider, the winner of its 2012 Leighton Award for Nonprofit Excellence.
The mission of St. Margaret’s House is to empower women who struggle with poverty to make transformational changes to improve the quality of their lives.
At Saint Margaret’s House, each woman is treated as an individual with her own unique story—typically one of poverty, limited education, addiction and abuse. St. Margaret’s House addresses immediate needs for food, clothing and day shelter while also working to meet long-term needs for permanent housing, literacy, job training, employment, mental health services and health care. St. Margaret’s House offers genuine hospitality and service to women and children in poverty, encouraging each woman they encounter to commit to her own betterment and healing. Staff and volunteers focus on the gifts and talents of each woman rather than on her deficits and challenges. Over its 21 years, St. Margaret’s House has touched thousands of women with a powerful example of unconditional love and support.
As this year’s Leighton Award winner, St. Margaret’s House receives a $100,000 endowment challenge grant and must raise $100,000 in matching funds. The resulting $200,000 will be used to create or add to a fund in the Community Foundation for the benefit of St. Margaret’s House. The organization also receives an additional $10,000 to help cover the costs of any fundraising and communications associated with the match.
Also, the Community Foundation named two Special Recognition winners, each of which will receive an award of $10,000. Special Recognition awards are intended to encourage organizations that are pursuing higher degrees of excellence, recognizing inspiring examples of service and performance. The Community Foundation’s first 2012 Special Recognition award goes to Memorial Neighborhood Health Centers, which include the Southeast Clinic and the Central Clinic at the Center for the Homeless. Through its Neighborhood Centers, Memorial demonstrates its unwavering commitment to increasing both the scale and quality of care for our community’s underserved residents. The Foundation’s second Special Recognition award goes to Habitat for Humanity and its Executive Director, Jim Williams, in recognition of its important work building new homes, providing zero-interest mortgages to its families, and opening the attractive and high-performing ReStore in South Bend, which has become a model for ReStores in other communities.
Established by Judd and Mary Lou Leighton and the Leighton-Oare Foundation in 1999, the Leighton Award encourages all of the community’s nonprofit organizations to pursue excellence at every level of their operations. Previous winners of this annual award include LOGAN (2000); Center for the Homeless (2001); South Bend Heritage Foundation (2002); REAL Services (2003); St. Joseph Health Center at Chapin Street (2004); Goodwill Industries of Michiana (2005); Center for Hospice and Palliative Care, Inc. (2006); South Bend Civic Theatre (2007), the YWCA of St. Joseph County (2008), the St. Joseph County Public Library (2009), Women’s Care Center (2010), and Family & Children’s Center (2011).