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May 19, 2010

By Sister Carren

Is there ever enough money? How much is enough? Even Sisters who take a vow of poverty think about money. It’s part of being human to want things you see and to convince yourself that you need them.

In my position as Payee Coordinator at Mercy Neighborhood Ministries I manage the social security benefits of clients who have a mental illness and need help getting their bills paid on time. They never have enough spending money, yet most are happy with the little they have. Recently I was inspired by one of my colleagues…

Denise came to our agency as an AmeriCorps volunteer. I didn’t know much about her until I heard the talk she gave when receiving an award from her alma mater. In the course of her remarks she said, “After convincing myself that I would be able to live on less money than I had been making as a social worker, (and it was hard), I interviewed at Mercy Neighborhood Ministries and knew after leaving that if they were to offer me the position I would say yes.  There is an atmosphere of hope and possibilities there, and I wanted to be a part of that.”

Denise has a Masters degree in social work and is now an Ohio Benefit Bank counselor helping adults get supportive living benefits to allow them to better become or remain self-sufficient. She is also certified as a foster/adoptive parent and will be welcoming her first child any day now. She could be making a lot more money somewhere else, but she is fulfilled by her work and her long list of volunteer activities. She and my clients are a witness to all of us that having little money can be enough.

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