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Mary Jo Copeland - Superhero!

Updated on December 31, 2010

This person is my Superhero because...

she grew up in poverty and a "emotionally deprived and socially dysfunctional child" and went on to be one of the most inspiring, caring people that I know (not personally).

Caring and Sharing Hands

Mary Jo Copeland grew up in an abusive, poverty stricken household and went on to raise 12 children of her own, with her husband Dick Copeland.

In 1981 she founded Caring and Sharing Hands in Minneapolis Minnesota, and is the current director.

Sharing and Caring Hands grew from a small volunteer organization with a $5,000 a month budget working out of a 2,000 square-foot storefront, to a large volunteer organization that spends over $400,000 a month on the needs of over 20,000 people who come through our doors monthly.

This work is now being done out of three buildings, worth $19 million, totaling 140,000 square-feet owned by Sharing and Caring Hands located on the edge of downtown Minneapolis.

Mary Jo has never taken a salary

during her 20+ years with Caring and Sharing Hands

More About Mary Jo Copeland and Her Work

Since founding Caring and Sharing Hands she has not only devoted countless hours helping homeless people over the years, but also continues to endure attack from both city officials and some people in the general public.

Often, the opinion is "take care of these people elsewhere, but not in my backyard."

How very sad.

She has received many awards, including; being voted One of the most Caring People in America by the Caring Institute in Washington, D.C., the Norman Vincent Peale Unsung Hero Award , the David Prues Outstanding Leadership Award, and the Pax Christi Award for living the life that Jesus taught.

Although, her goal is not praise or awards.

One of the things that impressed me is Mary Jo's tradition of washing the feet of those in need.

Twice each day basins of warm water are set out and Mary and the volunteers bathe and apply ointment to dozens of blistered, sore and tired feet. Many are supplied with new socks and shoes too.

It's those touching, thoughtful gestures like this that goes a long way for the visitors of the shelters.

To me, the world could use a million more Mary Jo Copelands!

I'm looking for suggestions for more good articles, photos, videos, blog posts, etc about this person. Think of this like the "External Resources" part of a Wikipedia page. What references would you add about my superhero?

If you have any suggestions - for this page

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    • moderngentlemano profile image


      9 years ago

      Quite a lady!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      i got to meet her in person and she is soo amazing

    • mysticmama lm profile image

      Bambi Watson 

      9 years ago

      Yes, she is an amazing Angel here on Earth!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      i read the book of nancy jo sullivan & was happend tha she wrote about the story of mary jo copeland. i was amazed that in this page i was that she reaaly paersonally cleaned the feet of the poor. how inspiring her story...


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