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Tuesday, March 5, 2024
The Observer

SMC supports St. Margaret's House Winter Walk

A team of Saint Mary’s students participated in the 11th annual St. Margaret’s House Winter Walk on Sunday, a one-mile fundraising event intended to raise awareness and improve the lives of local women struggling with poverty.

Founded in 1990, St. Margaret’s House launched celebrations for its 25th anniversary with the Winter Walk this weekend, Saint Mary's team organizer and senior Sarah Hossfeld said.

“St. Margaret's House provides each individual with attention, helping to break the bonds of isolation, empower them and encourage them to find their strengths rather than be defined by their current struggles," she said.

According to the St. Margaret’s House website, the house “is a safe, hospitable place where women and children can receive a hot meal, clothing and help to discover their gifts, learn new skills and create a better life for themselves and their families.”

“The purpose of the St. Margaret’s House Winter Walk is to walk a mile in solidarity with the women and children of St. Margaret’s House, whose everyday means of transportation is their feet, in any kind of weather," Hossfeld said. “It is also the largest fundraiser of the year for St. Margaret’s House.”

It is important for members of the Saint Mary’s and greater South Bend communities to participate in the walk in order to demonstrate local love and support toward the guests, Hossfeld said.

“The guests of of St. Margaret’s House are all wonderful people who have hit a hard time in their lives, and I think that it is really important for people to see that," she said. "Walking shows our support for the guests and allows the staff of St. Margaret’s House to continue doing the great work that it does."

People often distance themselves from what happens in the world around them, but Hossfeld said participating in the walk has the potential to open their eyes to the struggles of others.

“Walking a mile on a cold winter day can really put things in perspective as we complain about scraping our cars off in the morning or walk from Le Mans to Madeleva for class at 9 a.m.,” Hossfeld said.

The Winter Walk also honors Sr. Agnes Anne Roberts, who served on the Board of Directors for several years and participated as the first honorary chair for the walk, she said. A participant for the past seven years, Roberts is also known as the top walker and captain of the Sisters of the Holy Cross walk team.

“She has brought so much to our organization: insight, advice, a closer collaborative relationship with Saint Mary’s College and the Sisters of the Holy Cross,” Hossfeld said. “Her role as an advisor has been crucial over the last several years as we have experienced tremendous growth.”