Longtime 360 Communities supporter Mary Laeger-Hagemeister believed in people and the power of friendship. She knew that with a solid foundation of resources and support, anyone could reach their goals. She also recognized that anyone at any given time could need help.
For years, Mary volunteered at the Burnsville Family Resource Center, meeting with families before their food shelf appointments. She listened to their stories to understand their challenges. Then she helped clients access the programs and resources they needed to stabilize their circumstances and plan for the future.
In 2019, doctors diagnosed Mary with an aggressive form of cancer. She passed away on October 15th. But her legacy of giving continues.
Mary believed in equity, access, and community. Her experience working with families taught her that simple resources go a long way to helping stabilize homes, such as food access or help with a utility or medical bill. When she could no longer volunteer in the Burnsville Family Resource Center, she began donating a monthly in-kind gift: gas-only gift cards. She knew this resource would directly and positively impact the lives of the people 360 Communities serves.
“Many people I met in the resource center just needed gas in their cars to get to their jobs,” said Mary, “Others were experiencing homelessness and were living out of their cars. Gas card donations were really hard to come by.”
In September, Mary donated $1,000 worth of gas cards in the hopes of inspiring others to match her gift and carry on a legacy of this support for people after she is gone. If you would like to contribute, donate here. Please indicate your gift is in memory of Mary LH in the notes section of the donation form.
Watch Mary tell a story of how providing a simple resource can support a person’s long-term stability.
Mary Laeger-Hagemeister was also a faithful supporter of Armful of Love. This year, to reduce exposure to COVID-19, 360 Communities has made a significant change to the holiday gift program. Instead of asking gift sponsors to shop for presents with a family’s wish list, we are asking for donations of gift cards. We will also have a limited number of volunteer opportunities posted. Please click here to volunteer or sponsor. Thank you for your support!