Marie Pizelo Award

Is there a volunteer you would like to acknowledge at Transtions who tirelessly supports women and children in our programs? Nominate a recipient for 2019!

Recipients of this award, in memory of Marie, will have volunteered for Transitions for a minimum of seven years and embody the following 4 characteristics:

Welcoming – Marie's favorite place was at the front desk so she could welcome each woman who came in the door, understanding many are fearful and hurting. She learned every woman’s name and greeted them by such. She often introduced new women to others and directed them to staff if they needed extra help. 

Creative – Marie's sculptures were part of her own journey through suffering, healing and joy. She donated many of them to the Women’s Hearth so other women could gain hope to heal their lives. Some women said they got the courage to come in because they stood at the window and saw the sculptures. Her sculptures are honest, as was her sharing in groups. 

Spiritual – Even in her painful childhood, she always knew God loved her. This helped her to look for the good in everyone, to be inclusive. It also gave her the courage to face her death with acceptance and dignity.

Compassionate – From the suffering in her own life, Marie learned and chose to be compassionate to others, ready to listen and comfort. Perhaps most importantly, Marie became a good friend to many women at the Hearth.

Nomination Form here.

The recipent of the 2018 award is Sr Mary Ann O'Mara (pictured above). Sr Mary Ann, of the Sisters of the Holy Names, has been a volunteer at the Women's Hearth since 2012 and was heartily recommended by the staff at the Hearth for the award, saying she is "receptive and open; she brings the same listening ear and caring heart to everyone. She sees great value in all she meets. She is curious about people in a good way." Sr Mary Ann facilitates a group class that she created at the Hearth called “Time for Being,” which includes meditation, a few minutes of silence at the end, and reflection.
The previous recipients of the award were: Michael Phalen, 2017; Trudy Ophus, 2016; Brenda Tudor, 2015; Sonya Rose, 2014; Joyce Blazek, 2013; and Sr. Cathy Beckley, 2012.