Macon Magazine

February/March 2023

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HEROES AMONG US Sister Theresa Sullivan DIRECTOR OF DAYBREAK DAY RESOURCE CENTER PHOTOGRAPHY BY MATT ODOM Why are you driven to your work? In high school, the sisters who taught me brought me down to Chicago's inner city. That is when I first learned about people who are homeless or who have nowhere to lean for help. Being from a family of 12, I couldn't imagine ever not having somewhere to turn. At that time, I heard God call me to share the love He had given me with those who are poor. In my family house, everyone had a place at the table. In our community, neighbors came together to support one another. I witnessed firsthand how simple miracles happen when a community comes together to address issues. As a Daughter of Charity, I feel called to help others experience God's love, to make sure everyone has a place at the table, and network with others to help our community and each member be their best self. What is the legacy you hope to leave? Depaul USA Daybreak's motto is "Homelessness has no place." I'd love to see the day when everyone has a safe, nurturing place to lay their head and that they feel they belong. I hope that I am part of creating a network of agencies, congregations, businesses, and people that are there to support our brothers and sisters who are in need as they find a way to being housing-secure and to share their gifts with our community. What do you want more people to know about your work? The work of Daybreak is the work of the community. If each person does their part, we can end homelessness. Thank you, thank you, thank you. It is only with help of people across Macon that Daybreak can help others. We need you! Volunteer, donate, offer your services, network with us, pray, join our Macon Sleepout on Feb. 23. What best practices have been a takeaway from working through the COVID-19 pandemic? We are a resilient community who care about those in need. The only way Daybreak was able to stay open throughout COVID-19 was through the support of the community. Macon is amazing in how it comes together to address issues. Unlike many homeless communities, Daybreak had no serious cases of COVID-19. I attribute this to masking, vaccinations, distancing, cleaning, and getting people the help they needed. We can decrease the spread of infection by using the right tools at the right time. In times of crisis, when people hunker down, we can't forget the most fragile. Thank you, Macon, for being there for Daybreak and our participants. What makes a "hero"? I don't consider myself a hero. I see those who assist me each day as heroes. Daybreak has amazing staff, volunteers, donors, board members, partner agencies, and participants. I see myself more as a conductor that allows each musician to add their notes to make a symphony of healing. My ability to see the gifts others have and to invite others into the song is one of my secret ingredients. Furthermore, the participants I serve are my heroes. I'm inspired by how they assist each other, how they have the courage to take the next step, how they persevere in the dark days. I'm a hero because I'm surrounded by heroes and I help unite our strength to make the impossible possible. How can Macon be a part of the Daybreak mission? To learn more about Daybreak go to our Facebook or website. Volunteer, donate, or participate in the Macon Sleepout on Feb. 23. FEBRUARY/MARCH 2023 | 115

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