“We figure, in our history, well over twenty-eight thousand young men and women who have experienced trauma and tragedy in their lives have come through the old oak door, and have found a place of hospitality, a place of healing and, truly, a home,” he said. “None of that would be possible … without all the Heroes sitting around the room right now.”
He then called forward Mercy Home Hero Sandra Moore.
Moore and her husband, Shelby, had run the Chicago Marathon four times already in support of our boys and girls, said Fr. Scott. “They loved the home and they loved this mission. They loved running for our kids.”
Four months ago, as they were training together in a nearby park, Shelby Moore suffered a heart attack, collapsed, and passed away.
“Sandra decided she was going to continue to run the marathon,” said Fr. Scott. “For her husband, and for our boys and girls.”
To honor Moore and her husband, Fr. Scott presented Sandra with a gift—a crystal statuette of an angel. “It’s a symbol we use around here,” said Fr. Scott, to signify the many ways our friends and supporters serve as examples of Christ’s mercy to our kids.
“Angels are messengers of God,” he continued. “And so, please accept this from [our] children, from my coworkers—really given to you and to your wonderful husband, and given to your good hearts—and know that this messenger of God speaks on behalf of all of us saying thank you, God bless you.”
Moore received the gift to a standing ovation from her fellow Heroes, and took time to share words of gratitude with the Mercy Home family.
“Before my husband died, we used to run the marathon every other year,” she said. “This organization meant so much to him.”
Moore remembers that, after her husband passed, “I really didn’t want to run. My husband wasn’t with me and we did everything together … This has been a very, very, hard time for me in my life … I know my husband is with the Lord now, and I know he would want me to do this. So I’m doing this run in honor of him and I know his spirit is going to be there to take me to the next chapter in my life. And I just want to thank everybody who’s just been a part of this. It would really mean a lot to my husband, and it means a lot to me. I just want to keep his legacy alive.”