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PAX Christi March 26,2014

The Mary Jo Copeland biography, GREAT LOVE by Michelle Peterson Hinck, reads like a true rags-to-riches story. Her life is the American dream in full living color if you measure riches in the number of hearts touched, mended and nurtured. National honor President Barack Obama last year awarded Mary Jo Copeland the President’s Citizen’s Medal for “her vision for stronger neighborhoods… her compassion for the poor and marginalized… for sparking hope in those who need it most.”

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Pioneer Press September 5, 2013

Mary Jo Copeland barely graduated from high school and never attended college. Yet, in the past 30 years, the director of Minneapolis’ Sharing and Caring Hands has raised millions of dollars to assist thousands who needed a caring hand — without government or United Way funds.

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The Catholic Spirit August 15, 2013

When she returned from the White House after receiving the Presidential Citizens Medal last February, Mary Jo Copeland “had it on her heart” to publish a revised edition of her biography, first written in 2003. She knew an updated version could reach even more people with her message of God’s love and her work with the poor and homeless, she said, and it could inspire readers to make a difference themselves.

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People Weekly December 13,1999

At most homeless shelters, new arrivals are given the basics: a cot, a blanket and a plain hot meal. Mary Jo Copeland believes that is not enough. At her charity in Minneapolis, the 5’6″ dynamo – who drives a white 1998 Lincoln Continental with PRAYNOW license plates – doesn’t give her clients just a pat on the back or even a gentle caress on the cheek. She gets down on knees and washes their feet.

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Star Tribune October 24, 1994

Armed with a high school diploma, a rare talent for persuasion and a deeply ingrained distaste for bureaucratic flapdoodle, she runs what amounts to a $3 million a year business. She’s won the ear of the Twin Cities corporate elite, raised millions in capital in pursuit of her latest ambitious goal and even gone to war with City Hall – and won. In fact about the only difference between her and your everyday entrepreneurial success is that she regards prayer as her most potent strategic weapon.

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Readers Digest August 1991

A young woman is crying so hard she cannot talk. Hours earlier she had found her daughter dead in her crib, a victim of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Unmarried, with five other children, she is on welfare and does not know how to arrange for a burial. Her friends take her to a two story brick building in downtown Minneapolis. The sign above the door reads Sharing and Caring Hands.

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  • “Do something beautiful for God and make a difference in the lives of others.”
  • "Love and compassion are the secret to world peace."
  • "What is success? To love one another as God has loved us."
  • "Kindness is a conversion. Never forget that."
  • "Great leaders are great servants. Go serve God, serve family, serve your community."
  • "You will never fulfill the Scriptures (you read) until you are willing to live them."
  • "Your smile and an outstretched hand is the beginning of a miracle in the unspoken need of another's heart."
  • “Kindness a language in which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.”
  • "Hold fast, go forward... fear nothing."
  • "Evil flourishes when good people don't speak."
  • "When someone is drowning, you don't throw them a life preserver, you get into the water with them."
  • "In the evening of our lives, each one of us will be judged on one little thing... love, love, love... until it hurts."
  • "We are responsible for the effort, not the outcome."
  • "Joy is the net of love in which we catch souls."
  • "Don't pray too long, you'll get it wrong; we must go from prayer to action."
  • "We are called to be channels of God's peace, instruments of His love."
  • “Prayerful words must go into loving deeds.”