Volunteer & Work History
1981 – 1985 — Volunteered at Catholic Charities; recognized for her efforts with the 11 Who KARE Award.
1985 — Started Sharing & Caring Hands, a volunteer organization with few salaries and no bureaucracy. Mary Jo has never taken a salary for this work; money and donations go directly to the needs of the poor. Sharing & Caring Hands is a vehicle for concerned people to get directly involved in helping meet the needs of the less fortunate of our society.
1995 — Built Mary’s Place, a beautiful $7.5 million transitional housing apartment complex, born out of love, compassion, and concern for women and children in poverty. This building was made possible through private donations alone. It was expanded to 92 units in 2000 at a cost of $6 million.
1997 — Built new $5 million, 27,000 square-foot Sharing & Caring Hands Drop-In Center that serves the needs of over 1,000 people each day.
1998 — Converted old Sharing & Caring Hands building into a Children’s Activity Center and Teen Center for the children living at Mary’s Place. (In 2015, this building was torn down for the expansion of the 8 new units and teen/children center.)
1998 – Present — Sharing & Caring Hands grew from a small volunteer organization with a $5,000/month budget working out of a 2,000 sq. ft. storefront to a large volunteer organization that spends over $500,000/month on the needs of over 20,000 people who come through our doors monthly. This work is now being done out of two buildings, worth $19 million, totaling 13,000 sq. ft. located at the edge of downtown Minneapolis.
2015 — Mary Jo again expanded Mary's Place, adding 8 more units for a total of 100 units and a new teen and children center. Currently, Mary's Place houses over 600 people, most of them children.
Mary Jo is currently the Director of Sharing & Caring Hands and Mary’s Place, serving the needs of the poor daily.