35 Years of Hope: Gloria and Fred Gleave
Gloria Gleave started her career as a computer programmer in the early 1970s and ended it as a certified Project Manager. In the late 1980s, she met Sister Connie Driscoll at a Women in Management event in Chicago. She was impressed with the work St Martin de Porres House of Hope was doing in Woodlawn.
In 1995, Sr. Connie asked Gloria and her husband Fred (an Architect) to join the House of Hope’s Board of Directors, where they served for approximately 20 years. They were drawn to St. Martin’s by Sr Connie’s charisma and the disciplined program. Women and their children were kept together as the women went through the recovery program. They stayed in the program as long as it took for them to recover and transition to independent living.
Gloria and Fred fondly remember anniversary celebrations held every May. Residents, staff and members of the community celebrated with a mass at St. Gelasius Church (now Christ the King) next door. Gloria recalls, “The church was filled with spiritual energy, love and excitement. Songs from the House of Hope choir filled the church. After the mass and a few words by Carol Marin, all celebrated under a tent in the parking lot next door. It never rained. The nuns had the ear of the Man above.”
In late 2004, Gloria was elected Chair of the Board, succeeding Marianne Lutz. Just a few months later, in May of 2005, Sr. Connie died. Besides mourning the loss of a very special person, Gloria recalls “I was panicked, because Sr. Connie had done everything herself.” The responsibilities of the board increased in an instant. Gloria ended up absorbing much of the “behind-the-scenes, keep-it-going'” work. She transitioned the financial records from a paper ledger to an online system. With input from Sr Therese she created two fundraising mailings a year. “If the mailings didn’t go out, the income did not come in.” The board stuffed and sealed envelopes at one meeting before Fred was drafted to help. After a few years, an annual report was also included with the mailing.
Now retired from work and the board, Gloria and Fred live in Evanston and enjoy traveling and Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) classes. They keep in touch with friends they made at St. Martin de Porres House of Hope. They wish all well as St Martin de Porres House of Hope continues its mission in Woodlawn.