Carlow Alumna and McAuley Ministries to be Honored at 2013 National Philanthropy Day

Alison D'Addieco - November 08, 2013

Mary Fricker

Carlow University Alumna Mary Hoffman Fricker and McAuley Ministries, an outreach of the  
Sisters of Mercy, will be honored at the November 14, 2013, National Philanthropy Day Award Ceremony, sponsored by the Western Pennsylvania Chapter of the Association for Fundraising Professionals, at Pittsburgh's Heinz History Center. 

Fricker will receive the Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser award. A former first-grade teacher, she was recognized for her philanthropic efforts to reach inner-city elementary school children.

McAuley Ministries, the grant-making arm of Pittsburgh Mercy Health System and sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy-who founded Carlow in 1929-will receive the Outstanding Foundation award.

After graduating from Carlow in 1968, Fricker experienced poverty firsthand as a teacher in West Mifflin. Today, seeking to give back, she wanted to do something tangible. She asked herself, "What does every kid like?" The answer? New shoes.  

Mary Fricker and her gift of shoes to Fulton Elementary students
A happy student showing off his new orange shoes at Fulton Elementary in Pittsburgh's Highland Park. 

For the past seven years, Fricker has worked to identify Pittsburgh area elementary schools that qualify for the most free lunches. She makes sure that each child in the school's entire first grade receives a pair of brand-new Converse sneakers in popular colors and patterns-which she herself selects and purchases.

Mary Fricker and her gift of shoes to Fulton Elementary 
The box isn't even open and this Fulton Elementary student already loves her new pair of shoes!

Over the years, Fricker has donated more than 1,000 pairs of shoes to schools across the city. This year, on October 11th, 100 pairs of shoes were delivered to first grade students at Fulton Elementary in Pittsburgh's Highland Park neighborhood.

"It's so uplifting," said Fricker. "Someone who didn't even know them gave them a new pair of shoes. I hope it makes a difference to them that they see kindness in the world."

Mary Fricker and her gift of shoes to Fulton Elementary school students 
Thanks to Fricker, 100 pairs of shoes were given to 100 students at Fulton Elementary on October 11, 2013.

McAuley Ministries is no stranger to kindness-and no stranger to philanthropy, focusing on grant-making in Pittsburgh neighborhoods traditionally served by the Sisters of Mercy.
McAuley Ministries, an outreach of the Sisters of Mercy
This past August, McAuley Ministries announced $1.2 million in grants, mainly supporting business development, education, services to persons who are homeless, and capacity-building initiatives in Pittsburgh's Hill District, Uptown, and West Oakland communities. 

Since its establishment in 2008, McAuley Ministries has awarded more than $11.1 million in grants to local nonprofit organizations. 

"These most recent grants exemplify our ongoing commitment to helping create neighborhoods that are safe, healthy, and vibrant," stated Sister Sheila Carney, RSM, Carlow's Special Assistant to the President for Mercy Heritage and chairperson of the McAuley Ministries Board of Directors.