With Gilberto Gonzalez at Lutheran Settlement House 2013 Women of Courage Awards

 

When I was a little girl my father gave me a whole set of biographies and I would spend my afternoons and evenings with these big white bound books on my lap. I especially loved reading about women who made a difference in the world.  Inside one those books was the story of Jane Addams and I remember to this day the deep impression her story made on me. Addams founded the Settlement movement which in the early 20th century helped poor immigrants.  Lutheran Settlement House in Philadelphia is a legacy of that movement. Established in 1902, this community-based organization is committed to serving vulnerable children, adults, and families living in Philadelphia. Over the past century, the programs and services offered by LSH have changed in response to the evolving needs of the community. However, the core mission of Lutheran Settlement House — "to empower individuals, families, and communities to achieve and maintain self-sufficiency through an integrated program of social, educational, and advocacy services"
Today I was honored to be one of the recipients of the 2013 Women of Courage Awards emceed by my wonderful friend Lu Ann Cahn from NBC 10.  I was in wonderful company with recipients like:

Theresa Kellenbenz who Working with LSH,  earned her GED in spite of many struggles .
Theresa Venhaus, has participated in LSH’s programs for most of her life. Today, she assists other seniors with her volunteer work and her generous spirit.

Regina Hightower, who had previously been through the shelter system twice with her children.  With the help of Jane Addams Place, she now has a stable home for her children.

So many amazing women.  For a full list of awardees and their bios click here.

Jane Addams fought for the rights of women and children and sought  world peace - eventually founding the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom and was a founding member of the American civil liberties union.  She was the first American womann to receive the Nobel peace prize in 1931.   Lutheran Settlement House is the perfect expression of Jane Addams vision.  "To empower individuals, families, and communities to achieve and maintain self-sufficiency through an integrated program of social, educational, and advocacy services.”  The women who are honored today give life to her legacy.  To find out more click here.