Giving Back

As a ministry assistant, part of my job is to take students to one of SMC’s community partners twice a month. The community partners are nonprofits in the South Bend area that love having belles come volunteer, be it just to clean up or help man a huge event. Our community partners include Hannah’s House, Saint Margaret’s House and Hannah and Friends.

Hannah’s House welcomes expectant or new mothers in need of a home. Often, these women are fleeing domestic abuse, don’t have a family support system, and/or need help learning how to be a good mother. Hannah’s House provides everything for them, from baby clothes to breast feeding lessons.

Saint Margaret’s House provides meals and shelter struggling and homeless women. Women eat together while their children play, supporting one another through their struggles. Saint Margaret’s also help the women out with feminine care items or clothes.

Hannah and Friends is a facility for people with special needs. Often, special needs people are in need of a place to go once they’re too old to be in school, but can’t necessarily work or live on their own. Hannah and Friends provides programming for special needs people during the day, evenings and weekends. They have a stable, a gym, large grounds, a fun activity area, a kitchen and several homes for residents who live there.

Part of being a kind, respectful human is taking the time to show other people they matter and doing your part in the community. Showing love to others can be actions such as serving meals, but it can also be as simple as listening to one’s story, giving them a smile, and simply being a positive presence in their lives. Most of what we do at community partners is simply talking with the visitors there, who are all strong, equal children of God.

I'll be honest, sometimes it's hard to interact with people whose lives have been so different from my own, but it helps me appreciate the loving family and abundant support I have. It’s a reminder that because God has gifted me with so much, it’s my job to give back. And when I see the women at Saint Margaret’s House laugh together, or the kids at Hannah and Friends laugh and have fun, I know I am making an impact, and it is the most rewarding experience I could ask for. I highly recommend visiting Hannah’s House, Hannah and Friends or Saint Margaret’s House and seeing just how rewarding it is meet and interact with the people there.

We all have a personality responsibility to give back. It doesn’t have to be anything big. We can each implement stewardship into our everyday lives- it just requires acts of kindness, a sense of social responsibility, and a passion to show love to everyone we come into contact with.