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SMC students participate in local benefit walk for women

ALISON MEAGHER | Friday, February 19, 2010

Members of the Saint Mary’s community will be participating in a walk to raise money and awareness for Saint Margaret’s House, a women’s day house in downtown South Bend, Sunday at 2 p.m.

“This walk isn’t only to raise money, but also solidarity,” Kathy Schneider, executive director of Saint Margaret’s House, said.

Saint Margaret’s house offers services to impoverished women and children. The organization serves breakfast and hot lunch to women and offers shower facilities, employment help, parenting seminars and health services.

Schneider said the walk will raise money for the operating budget. The money will go towards buying food for meals and clothes to give out to visitors.

The walk is in front of the Cathedral of St. James in downtown South Bend. Registration is free and can be completed online at www.stmargaretshouse.org

Carrie Call, director for the Office of Civic and Social Engagement, said transportation to and from the event can be arranged as long as the office is notified beforehand.

The House’s goal is to raise $50,000 this year through the walk. Major sponsors include Bank of America, McDonald Physical Therapy and Saint Joseph Regional Medical Center.
Schneider said the majority of funds raised are from individual donations.

Another goal of the walk is to promote fellowship.

“The walk is one of the best ways to show solidarity with other women in our community,” Call said. “So many women have to rely on walking in their day-to-day lives.”

In addition to corporate and individual donations, many teams have formed, including some from the College.

Kelley FitzGerald, a senior at Saint Mary’s, helped organize a team for the walk. She does clinical work at the House and thought it would be good to support them in more than one way.

“Being an all women’s institution, we need to support all women, but particularly in our community who need help,” FitzGerald said. “Saint Mary’s has taught us about faith in action in our community and women’s rights, and Saint Margaret’s House is a place where we can put not only our faith but our education to practice.”

According to FitzGerald, the team she started has twenty members that are all nursing majors.

The sociology and psychology departments also have teams participating in the walk.
Hot Chocolate and cookies will be served at the house following the one-mile walk in the cold.

“We encourage everyone to come out and walk a mile in ‘her’ shoes,” Schneider said. “It’s a fun and important day.”

Saint Margaret’s House and the College will partner in future events, such as offering summer internships to students, having nursing majors assist with health services and participating in future walks.