How one Benedictine changed a young mom's life

Angie* had lost her job and was five days away from losing her apartment. She and her three kids – ages 11, 8 and 4 – were soon to be out on the street, hungry, cold and scared. She sat across from the Project NOW outreach worker and held her breath.

Angie had nowhere else to turn.

Angie needn’t have worried. Created in 1968 by a team of dedicated community activists – including our Sister Margaret Murphy, OSB (shown above right during a local school presentation) – Project NOW’S goal is to help people like Angie help themselves by providing temporary solutions, education and encouragement.

Angie and her family needed all of it. Project NOW paid her rent while she looked for a job. They helped her with food stamps, budgeting, life skills and finding childcare.

Within 6 weeks, Angie had taken a temporary job for $8.25 an hour, which helped begin to stabilize her household. Within a few more months, she found full-time work as a nurse, earning $19.00 per hour. Thanks to Project NOW and Sr. Margaret, Angie is on her feet today.

Still serving Rock Island’s poor

The Benedictine Sisters continue to financially support the organization Sr. Margaret helped create.

Sr. Margaret – who works in spiritual direction now – remembers planning meeting with her co-founders as well as scrubbing floors in the building before they opened it. She says she is grateful to have had a hand in starting such an important organization.

“Everyone pitched in to help,” she says. “We were all committed to the goal of social justice.”

Director Maureen Hart says thanks to people like Sister Margaret and her Benedictine Sisters, those who are in need are receiving a leg up.

“We either must help those in need or pay the price for not helping. That’s not just a monetary number. Who can measure the loss of human potential?”

Sr. Margaret has served in various ministries, including education. Today she serves as a spiritual director.

There are many ministry opportunities throughout the Quad-City area. If you are interested in learning more, please contact Sister Stefanie!

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