SOS: Margo Chesley
Stories of Service: Margo Chesley
Margo Chesley has been an active person here at Westwood and in St. Louis Park for many years. This has been especially true in causes that deal with issues of poverty and homelessness. She currently is active on the St. Louis Park Emergency Program as a board member and is a mentor of a young person through the Kinship ministry. One of the ministries she's been involved with the longest here at Westwood has been in support of Families Moving Forward, a ministry in which homeless families are housed in area churches for a week at a time while the work to stabilize their employment and living situations. Here is a bit about Margo's story.
When Pastor Jason asked how Margo got involved with providing leadership for Westwood's Families Moving Forward weeks, she responded, "If I can recall back to 1999, there was a blurb in the bulletin looking for folks interested in helping homeless families. Several people met with (I don't remember who from staff) and from there Aggie Sandum and I agreed to co-chair the efforts. There was no specific timeframe to Westwood's involvement but the ease/convenience, etc. to have homeless families stay right here at Westwood was a big incentive for my commitment. And I looked at the size of Westwood's building and thought there is no reason why Westwood shouldn't be part of this mission."
When asked to consider the most meaningful part of Margo's involvement with FMF over the last years, she replied, "Looking back on the guest history I keep and see that at least 160 families have called Westwood their home for a 1 week period. These means we have provided food, shelter, hospitality and safety to well over 500 adults and kids. From many of our guests I have learned determination, appreciation and hope. Plus I've also gotten to know many great committed Westwood volunteers."
Margo commented on how her faith confession influenced her decision to be involved with FMF and how it has been influenced by her involvement, stating, "As a child of God I am responsible to help others as much as I am able. Food and housing are such basic human needs that whatever I can share with those that are lacking I must and want to do. The abundance of my life and all of the help I've received along my journey continues to increase my desire to look beyond myself and help where I can. Through serving our FMF guests and reaching out to volunteers my faith is strengthened and energized."