2015 Honor: Mary’s Spirit Award

OCT. 9, 2015 ... Friends of Guest House was honored to receive the first Mary’s Spirit Award, presented in May 2015 in memory of Mary W. Levin: an Ohio philanthropist and activist, a believer in “fairness and justice for all,” who passed away at age 73 in January 2012. The award was presented through the Peter & Mary Levin Family Foundation and included a $30,000 contribution.

Mary W. Levin
Mary W. Levin

“It was her mission to level every playing field. ‘We really are involved in what they call causes without champions,’ Mary Levin said. Her no-nonsense passion for social justice led her to causes focused on education, women’s rights, access to services for the poor and basic human rights for those embroiled in the justice system. All of her passion and her dedication helped thousands in need; she truly attained her goal of leaving the world better than she found it” (award description).

“Guest House really fits my mom in many ways,” says Jean Levin Wyman, who, with her father, Peter, sisters Kate Levin and Anne DeLyons, and their spouses, selected Guest House as the award recipient. “She was involved with prisoner’s rights,” among other underdog causes; and she worked for many years with the noted civil rights attorney, Alphonse Gerhardstein, and the Ohio Justice & Policy Center.

"My mom would have listened to the [Guest House] speakers and thought, not ‘I did this,’ but ‘what else can I do to help these women?’ "

—Jean Levin Wyman

The award’s funding will advance our Speakers Bureau, which, as Jean notes, “makes the money go that much farther, in educating the public about what you do.”

Mary Wolf Levin was a native and lifelong resident of the Cincinnati area. Her only connection to Northern Virginia is her daughter, Jean, who lives here. Jean learned of Friends of Guest House through the Giving Circle of HOPE, of which she is a member.

Noting her mother’s modesty and down-to-earth nature, Jean imagines that “my mom would have listened to the [Guest House] speakers and thought, not ‘I did this,’ but ‘what else can I do to help these women?’ She wouldn’t want any glory attached to what she did.”

 

 

 
 
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Friends of Guest House
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Alexandria, VA 22301-2025
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Friends of Guest House helps female ex-offenders in Northern Virginia make the difficult transition from incarceration back into the community.

Friends of Guest House, Inc., is a 501(c)(3) public charity: Federal tax ID #51-0201327. Gifts to Guest House are tax-deductible as provided by law.
 

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