Saint Mary’s Carries on with Winter Walk

Walk for St. Margaret's HouseFor more than two decades, students at Saint Mary’s have traveled to downtown South Bend in February to participate in the annual St. Margaret’s House Winter Walk. The walk is the signature event of the area non-profit whose programming supports regional women and children. This year, when the organization switched to a virtual event due to the ongoing pandemic, Saint Mary’s rallied and created a self-contained walk on campus so students, faculty, and staff could carry on with their support. 

Co-hosted by the Office for Civic and Social Engagement, the Department of Athletics, Campus Ministry, Social Work Club, the Center for Spirituality, and student nurses, the Winter Walk for St. Margaret's House was held on Sunday, February 21.

Beginning at 1 p.m., more than 150 participants queued up to begin the one-mile loop on campus grounds. Following Indiana and St. Joseph County health guidelines for large gatherings, organizers created a route that maximized each walker’s safety. 

"We are pleased to be able to continue to walk in solidarity with our friends at Saint Margaret's House,” said Rebekah Go, director of the Office for Civic and Social Engagement. “The work that Saint Margaret's House does, and our ongoing support of them, is a direct connection to our mission to work for the common good, with particular attention to those who are most vulnerable. We are grateful for the tremendous work that Saint Margaret's House does in our community. It is a privilege to support them in their efforts."

St. Margaret’s House is a day center that welcomes women and children who live in economic poverty. The organization provides meals, addresses immediate needs, and offers assistance through programming for women and children.

Saint Mary’s College has always had a special relationship with St. Margaret’s House, especially the Winter Walk,” said Kathy Schneider, executive director of St. Margaret’s House. “The idea of this event was actually started by a Holy Cross Sister who was working at Saint Mary’s College and serving on St. Margaret’s House Board of Directors 22 years ago. Since 2000, Saint Mary’s College has had a team represent us in this walk every year. Thank you for joining us in this legacy.”

Because Saint Mary’s campus is closed to visitors, Schneider was unable to attend the walk on Sunday. But through remarks sent to participants, she expressed her gratitude to the College.

“While the walk is intended to raise funds, I want you to know that St. Margaret’s House Winter Walk is much more than a fundraiser. It is a walk of solidarity with the women and children who go to St. Margaret’s House each day to access essential services, meals, programs and to be a part of a supportive community. These services are crucial in assisting women living in poverty take their next best step forward. We walk today because 80 percent of St. Margaret’s House guests must walk or take the bus, no matter the weather in order to get there. Ten percent spend over an hour traveling to reach them. Today, we walk intentionally in the winter to recognize the effort of the women and children of St. Margaret’s House put in to receive these vital services. Thank you for being a part of this Winter Walk and helping make their journey worth the trip.”

As part of the Winter Walk for St. Margaret’s House, participants were encouraged to bring socks as a donation. To learn more about St. Margaret’s House, click here.

If you would like to donate socks as part of Saint Mary’s efforts, send them to the Office of Civic and Social Engagement, in care of Rebekah Go, 218 Student Center, Saint Mary's College Notre Dame IN, 46556.

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