At its annual Evening of HOPE fund-raiser on October 27, the Foundation of HOPE presented Mary Harwick ’58, M’60 with the first Mary Harwick Volunteer of HOPE Award.
For many years, Harwick, a jail volunteer since 1988, rode the T from her Mt. Lebanon home every week, no matter the weather, to teach parenting classes to female offenders in the Allegheny County Jail. She continues to teach as needed in both the female and male HOPE pods.
She first volunteered for Women's Christian Renewal and was one of the founders of Lydia's Place, which helps incarcerated women and their families. Since starting to volunteer at the jail, Harwick has taught Bible study, aerobics, parenting, and anger management. She also served on the HOPE board of directors until earlier this year. In addition, she served as chair of the Chaplain's Jail Project Committee and still serves on the board development subcommittee.
Her work earned her the prestigious Jefferson Award in 2003. A retired elementary counselor, she has always seen the correlation between troubled children and an incarcerated parent. She sees the HOPE program, which addresses three segments, chaplaincy, pre-release, and aftercare, as a true continuum of caring.
A story about Harwick, “Parents in Prison,” appeared in the Fall 2005 edition of IUP Magazine.