Local non-profit worker retiring after 30 years of service

NOW: Local non-profit worker retiring after 30 years of service

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – The woman at the helm of a local nonprofit that helps women and children better their lives in South Bend is preparing to hang up her hat, after 30 years of service.

Kathy Schneider has been the Executive Director at St. Margaret’s House for years.

“I was able to walk with women when they were in need and that by walking together they learn from me and I learn from them and both our lives were enriched by our time together,” Schneider said.

Schnieder has been helping the community at the women’s day center at St. Margaret’s House since 1991. She began her career as a part-time director with 30 volunteers and serving around 20 women and children. And since then, the number has grown.

“Today we serve 80 to 100 women and children a day, a staff of 13, and before the pandemic, we had a weekly volunteer crew of 140,” said Schneider. “At St. Margaret's House, we create community and change lives. And the miracle of St. Margaret's House is all our lives are changed.

Under Schnieder, St. Margaret’s House went from a one-story to three- story building in 2001 and 2002, adding a clothes closet, a silk creation studio, and programming space for women in the South Bend community to use. In 2012, the women’s day center received the Leighton Award for non-profit excellence. Schneider said over the years, nearly everything but their mission of helping women who live in economic poverty has changed.

“The scope, the many services, and programming and the number of volunteers, the number of programming, the number of guests has all expanded. But we always come back to our mission statement,” Schneider said.

That mission statement, a ministry of hospitality, helping women and children carve out a path to a better life. A mission that helps to keep “Michiana strong.”

Schnieder’s last day is on September 23. Katie Elliot, a South Bend local will be the new executive director at St. Margaret’s House starting Friday, Sept. 24.

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