Read Stories

Read below where people describe their experience with one or more of our “Mend the Gap” issue areas (Living Wages, Tax Justice, Family-Friendly Workplaces, Democracy, Healthcare, Citizenship, and Housing).

Go to Share Your Story to add yours

Filter by State:

We're All Riding with the Nuns on the Bus

Jack Bopp and Arnie Alpert - Concord, New Hampshire

Sing along to this Nuns on the Bus song! (video) - Read More

Terrell on Affordable Care

Terrell Johnson - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Terrell is the community engagement specialist for the Health Federation of Philadelphia and works within their program "AC Outreach Enrollment." he shares his work and experiences. (video) - Read More

Emily's Uplifting Spirit

Emily Edwards - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Emily, who works with Witnesses to Hunger, shares her story as well as her uplifting message of service and optimism. (video) - Read More

Sahar on Female Empowerment

Sahar Alsahlani - Newark, New Jersey

Sahar shares her experience with multifaith social justice work and how working with other faiths, including her Catholic education, has helped her become a better social justice advocate and has deepened her faith as a Muslim. (video) - Read More

Robert and Integrity House

Robert Budsock - Newark, New Jersey

Robert explains the four pillars of Integrity house's program, the gaps experienced by those with a history of addiction, and stresses the value of lifting one another up for the betterment of all our lives. (video) - Read More

Adam Reaching Out for Help

Adam Pfeifer - Newark, New Jersey

Adam shares his struggle with addiction and the difficulties he faced trying to get help. (video) - Read More

Penelope's Support System

Penelope King - Newark, New Jersey

Penelope shares her experience with addiction and how Integrity house helped her recover from her addiction, pursue higher education, rebuild relationships with her children, and enter the work force. (video) - Read More

Michael on the Integrity Program

Michael Coleman - Newark, New Jersey

Michael shares his experience seeking help for addiction while on Medicaid and the particular strengths of Integrity house as a therapeutic community. (video) - Read More

Darnell Accepting Change

Darnell Smith - Newark, New Jersey

Darnell shares his story of addiction and change. (video) - Read More

Nate's Inner Calling

Nate Bonds - Newark, New Jersey

Nate shares his experience of alcoholism, including surviving seven near-fatal alcohol related car crashes, and his calling to be a preacher. (video) - Read More

Destiny on Lowest Points

Destiny Guenette - Newark, New Jersey

Destiny shares about her experience with addiction and the path to recovery at Integrity house. (video) - Read More

Stephanie on Having Faith

Stephanie Luna - Newark, New Jersey

Stephanie shares her path of recovery from addiction- from looking at jail time in a federal prison to now working on getting back her nursing degree, and how Integrity house has supported her journey. (video) - Read More

Sarah on Getting Resources and Community

Sarah Marsh - Newark, New Jersey

Sarah shares her struggle with addiction and how her therapeutic community is helping her recover. (video) - Read More

April's Story and Struggle

April Gelsinger - Scranton, Pennsylvania

April shares part of her story of homelessness and unemployment with children. (video) - Read More

Sister Kieran on Immigrant Voting Rights

Sr. Kieran Williams - Scranton, Pennsylvania

Sister Kieran shares her experience being a part of a community in Williamston, NC, where she works closely with the immigrant community. (video) - Read More

Carol on the Aging Population

Carol Storey - West Hartford, Connecticut

Carol shares her experience as a senior citizen and shares her concerns about affordable food and housing for the growing again population. (video) - Read More

Kathy on Mental Health and Disability

Kathy Flaherty - West Hartford, Connecticut

Kathy shares her concern for people with disabilities, particularly those with psychiatric labels, because they experience a lot of discrimination and often do not get the services and support they need to thrive. (video) - Read More

Janée’s Peaceful Rebellion

Janée Woods - West Hartford, Connecticut

Janée shares an experience disrupting a forum on race relations where community members weren't invited to draw attention to the disconnect between talk and action as well as draw the Black Lives Matter movement into the conversation. (video) - Read More

Maria on Government Assistance

Maria Cimini - Providence, Rhode Island

- Read More

Kateri on Being Here

Kateri Fry - Providence, Rhode Island

Kateri shares her admiration for Sister Joan and her gratitude for being here in the present. (video) - Read More

Marjorie on Sister Joan's Support

Marjorie Santil - Providence, Rhode Island

- Read More

Sister Eileen on Having a Voice

Sr. Eileen Brady - Concord, New Hampshire

Sister Eileen shares stories from her work through the Sisters of Mercy in Nashua, advocating for the importance of everyone to share stories and be politically engaged. (video) - Read More

Amy's Want to Work

Amy Shaw - Concord, New Hampshire

- Read More

Jazmine On Our Democracy Fight

Jazmine Langley - Concord , New Hampshire

Jasmine shares her personal story and the gaps she's encountered- especially ones that relate to racism and poverty. She also shares about the democracy gap and how we can join together to fight for our democracy. (video) - Read More

Cindy on Ladies First

Cindy Krautheim - Bennington, Vermont

Cindy shares about Ladies First- a program for women's health. (video) - Read More

Darius on Better Working Economy

Darius Cephus - Boston, Massachusetts

Darius shares his experience as a fast food worker and calls for a better economy that serves all people. (video) - Read More

Ellen on Disability Social Justice

Ellen Frith - Boston, Massachusetts

Rev. Ellen Frith shares about her experience documenting places that are inaccessible to persons with a disability, and the sacrifices she has made in her effort to mend the gaps- from assault to time in jail. (video) - Read More

Keith on a List of Change

Keith Yergeau - Manchester, New Hampshire

Keith recognizes the issue of "big money politics." He calls for the US to move toward public financing of elections, disclosing donors, and having bipartisan re-districting to end gerrymandering and ensure that every voice is heard. (video) - Read More

Justice for Unfairly Displaced Tenured Teachers

Nikki L. - Malden, Massachusetts

- Read More

Amanda's Fight for 15

Amanda Monroe - Albany, New York

Amanda has been active in the Fight for 15 movement for the last two years and she shares how she is struggling to support two children on the minimum wage. (video) - Read More

Mayor Kathy on Bridging the Gaps

Mayor Kathy Sheehan - Albany, New York

Mayor Kathy Sheehan shares some gaps she's noticed in society, commends the work of the Nuns on the Bus, and encourages everyone to advocate for mending the gaps. (video) - Read More

Willy White on transportation in Albany

Willy White - Albany, New York

Willy White shares a story about how his community came together to advocate for a bus route to come into their community. (video) - Read More

Congressman Paul Tonko on Nuns and Community

Congressman Paul Tonko - Albany, New York

Congressman Paul Tonko speaks to the need for and importance of the Sisters' "people-powered bus" and shares a vision for mending the gaps. (video) - Read More

Youth on their Service Experiences

Youth of the Church of the Transfiguration - Rochester, New York

- Read More

Nikki on Paying it Forward

Nikki Haynesworth - Rochester, New York

Nikki is the program coordinator for Women on the Move at St. Joseph's Neighborhood Center and shares how the agency fills the gaps in terms of medical care in the community, as well as her personal experiences in with the center. (video) - Read More

It's Not Fair! The Florida Immigrant Policy Gap

Kayjoy Cooper - Wyncote, Pennsylvania

In my dozen years in Miami I never ceased to give my theme song to the Handmaids' many Cuban friends: We rejoice in the "wet foot/dry foot" policy of the US government which allowed you, your parents, families, and friends into the country... - Read More

Rev. Kirk on Doing Better

Rev. Kirk Laubenstein - Buffalo, New York

Rev. Kirk is active in the Fight for 15 campaign and shares a story from his experience that reminds him that we have to do better. (video) - Read More

Joan on a Nurse's Story

Joan Malone - Buffalo , New York

Joan shares the story of a nurse's aide who works 12 hour shifts at an assisted living facility run by the diocese and a vision for a more efficient, ethical, and productive healthcare system. (video) - Read More

Congressman Higgins on Nuns and Healthcare

Congressman Brian Higgins - Buffalo, New York

Congressman Brian Higgins shares his experience working on healthcare in Congress- and credits Catholic Sisters in America with saving healthcare. He also shares a story of Rep. John Lewis' experience in Buffalo, NY. (video) - Read More

Josiah on Conserving Education for Youth

Josiah Leach - Erie, Pennsylvania

Josiah shares his experiences and frustrations working with the youth of Erie, including as a "Big Brother" in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. (video) - Read More

Kathy's Struggle with Temporary Employment

Kathy Pellikka - Toledo, Ohio

Kathy shares her experience being a temporary worker for ten years at an automotive company. (video) - Read More

Carole Jambarad-Sweet on Not Having Enough

Carole Jambarad-Sweet - Toledo, Ohio

Carole, a food pantry volunteer, shares how a young child in the food pantry strengthened her dedication to helping those who "don't have enough." (video) - Read More

Ruthie on Teens Raising their Siblings

Ruthie Steel - Toledo, Ohio

Ruthie shares about her friends, aged fifteen and eighteen, who are forced into "being parents" for their nieces/nephews or siblings while the childrens' parents have to work most of the day. (video) - Read More

Alejandro Rodela on his Police Encounter

Alejandro Rodela - Toledo, Ohio

Alejandro shares a personal experience with racial profiling by police. (video) - Read More

Representative Marcy Kaptur on How Long it Takes

Rep. Marcy Kaptur - Toledo, Ohio

Rep. Marcy Kaptur shares how challenging it can be to get anything done in our political system and encourages perseverance. (video) - Read More

Julian Mack on Local Racial Inequality

Julian Mack - Toledo, Ohio

Julian is a local activist in the Black Lives Matter movement and shares his call for unity to affect real change and bring about equality and fairness in our country. (video) - Read More

Dr. Jonathan Ross on the Complexity of Healthcare

Dr. Jonathan Ross - Toledo, Ohio

Dr. Jonathan Ross calls for a healthcare system that better serves patients by cutting down on the immense complexity an bureaucracy which increases costs and decreases effectiveness. (video) - Read More

Enedilla Cisneros on Working Hard

Enedilla Cisneros - Toledo, Ohio

Enedilla shares her experience in the last 44 years as a migrant farm worker, including the need for education on rights of workers, the value of hard work, and the continuing lack of health insurance. (video) - Read More

Therese on Income Issues

Therese Spencer - Fort Wayne, Indiana

Therese shares how her family is the first to be doing work than earlier generations. (video) - Read More

Jennifer's Story of Rebuilding

Jennifer Freeland-Davis - Fort Wayne, Indiana

Jennifer shares her family's story of going from a "typical suburban family" to living in a shelter following her husband's heart attack and severe injury, and their difficult road to recovery. (video) - Read More

Wanita on Mentality

Wanita Coleman - Fort Wayne, Indiana

Want shares about the importance of having the right mentality, and the challenges of encouraging healthy mentalities for families. (video) - Read More

Sonya's Perseverance Through Struggle

Sonya Carter - Fort Wayne, Indiana

Sonya shares her difficulties trying to raise her children while dealing with judgment and racism. (video) - Read More

Leila on Racial Struggles

Leila Roach - Fort Wayne, Indiana

Leila shares her story, including personal struggles with racism, mental health, and single motherhood. (video) - Read More

Friar Mario on the Divide

Friar Mario Serrano - Terre Haute, Indiana

Friar Mario shares some of his views on immigration, as well as some of his personal experience. (video) - Read More

Bobbie on Community and Affordable Housing

Bobbie Sykes - St. Louis, Missouri

Bobbie of Voices of Women calls attention to the need for community and affordable housing in neighborhoods experiencing or at risk for gentrification. (video) - Read More

Wayne Lee on Transportation with Disabilities

Wayne Lee - Jefferson City, Missouri

Wayne is a member of the transit advisory committee of Jefferson City- he travels almost exclusively on public transit due to uncontrolled epilepsy preventing him from being able to safely drive himself. (video) - Read More

DeeAnn on State Employee Wages

DeeAnn Mckenny - Jefferson City, Missouri

DeeAnn is a Missouri state employee- she shares her experiences with employee wages and leave, and asked for all employers and employees to follow the golden rule and treat others as they'd like to be treated. (video) - Read More

Ann's Health Care Crisis

Ann Anderson - Jefferson City, Missouri

When Ann's health took a turn for the worse she didn't have health insurance. She shares her story and call for health care. (video) - Read More

Ms. Angie's Fight for the Better

Angela Whitman - Jefferson City, Missouri

Ms. Angie is a leader in her community- here she shares her experience, stories, and vision for a better future. (video) - Read More

Reginald Dale on the Importance of Lives

Reginald Dale - Springfield, Illinois

Reginald Dale gives her personal experience with racism in the police, her concerns for black men and others impacted by the structural racism and unfair treatment, and gives us pointers on how to become more involved and make a difference in our communities. (video) - Read More

Diana Ducett on Health Care in Illinois

Diana Ducett - Bloomington, Illinois

Diana Ducett shares her experience with the payment system for her insurance for Illinois state employees. (video) - Read More

Liz German on Food Regulations

Liz German - Bloomington, Illinois

Liz German is the vice-president of operations at YWCA McLean County, and she shares her experience utilizing the state subsidized food program in the childcare programs run at the YWCA. (video) - Read More

Betty Gilbert's Personal Story

Betty Gilbert - Janesville, Wisconsin

Betty Gilbert shares the tragic story of her son's death at the age of 56 because of a lack of healthcare. (video) - Read More

Julie Eide on Minimum Wage

Julie Eide - Janesville, Wisconsin

Julie Eide speaks about her experiences of homelessness and eviction with three young children, as well as the need for affordable health care to keep families like hers together. (video) - Read More

Dr. Neddy Astudillo on Immigration

Dr. Neddy Astudillo - Janesville, Wisconsin

Dr. Neddy Astudillo reminds us that immigrants are not strangers among us, but valuable, loving, and hardworking members of our communities, and families- our friends, colleagues, neighbors, and relatives. (video) - Read More

Wayne Skattum on his Daughter's Health

Wayne Skattum - Janesville, Wisconsin

Wayne's daughter experiences chronic pain and lives with her family in Wayne's home- in pain and unable to afford other housing options. Hear Wayne's experience and his call for affordable, accessible health care for all people. (video) - Read More

Ginny on Health Insurance

Ginny Spernoga - Madison, Wisconsin

Ginny Spernoga is a nurse who works with patients who don't have health care- she is excited about mending the gaps to provide health care to all! (video) - Read More

Part-time Employee, No Employment, No Retirement

Margaret Meeker - Williamstown, West Virginia

I have a friend in her early 50's who has been working for a huge bank for two years. She doesn't get insurance because she is part time and does not make enough to pay for food and rent with the same pay check. - Read More

Our Sister and the Nuns on the Bus

Jini Kai MacAdam - Madison, Wisconsin

The beginning of the remarkable journey of Margaret and the Nuns on the Bus began in a sadly unremarkable way. Margaret lost her job. She lost her health insurance. And she lost her life. In that order. (text and video) - Read More

Feeding and Housing the Homeless

Ruth Berra - Appleton, Wisconsin

Our FOX VALLEY WARMING CENTER feeds and houses 60 people year round. - Read More

Shelter the Homeless

Patricia Kane - Stewartsville, New Jersey

Economic collapse and hurricanes hit our area and affected those who who are most vulnerable. We also have Latino immigrants who struggle to gain a foothold in our culture. - Read More

We Need to Bring Back the Value of Community

Susan Carpenter - San Francisco, California

The stories that sadden me the most in our country are the stories of prisoners. I have worked as a prison chaplain in California so I have experience of this side of life. When people enter our prisons, it is as if their rights are taken away. - Read More

Living Wages for Adjunct Professors

Julian Long - St. Louis, Missouri

Of course, I experience the same divides that everybody in this society does, and I am very much aware, as the sister was saying at the end of her talk, of the fact that my white skin gives me privileges that other people don’t have. - Read More

Political Polarization in South Carolina

Sarah Damewood - Leesville, South Carolina

Here in South Carolina, I see so much polarization between Democrats and Republicans. It is so important that we find areas of agreement and learn to have civil, constructive discussions about how we can solve our problems together. - Read More

We Need to Mend the Gap in Access to Citizenship

Naomi Carranza - St. Louis, Tennessee

There’s a lot of discrimination that I’ve faced so many times in my life, throughout the nine years—nine, ten years—that I’ve been living in St. Louis. I’ve gone to McDonald’s, I’ve gone to Walgreens, even in my own school there’s a little bit of division with the girls or anything… - Read More

Connecting People to Food and Each Other

Danny - Wheeling, West Virginia

One of the first things I noticed when I moved to East Wheeling after growing up in the country is that kids had very little connection with things natural. (video) - Read More

Gap in Access to Healthcare: Terry's Story

Terry McCallister - St. Louis, Missouri

I actually filed for and received disability in 2013. At that time, I had COBRA insurance, which was a little over $700 a month, which is more than half of the disability that I bring in, so I had to drop my COBRA. I had some money in a 401k - Read More

Only a Loving Community Can Heal What's Been Broken

Jennifer Clinger - Nashville, Tennessee

By the time women get to the streets, there are several illegal hustles they rely on. Using drugs to deal with everyday life, theft, and then it's just a revolving door from jails, prisons, rehabs, psych wards, streets. A lot of my sisters never made it out alive. - Read More

The Gap in Democracy and Registering to Vote

Mary Akerstrom - Topeka, Kansas

We have a lot of people who are not registered to vote in Kansas. There was a very low turnout in the last governor election, so that is one way Republican and Democrats can work together to get people out there and get them voting. - Read More

Remember Dr. King's True Call

Rev. Wendell Griffen - Little Rock, Arkansas

I want to talk about the need that Dr. Martin Luther King called for a year to the day before he was murdered, for a "radical revolution of values" away from profits and property to people and personhood... - Read More

When We Make People "Other"

Brendan O'Conner - Nashville, Tennessee

If you look at, you know, a lot of newspapers, but certainly in our region, any popular newspaper publication, like the Tennessean or the Nashville Scene... - Read More

Sister Janice's Ministry of Direct Service

Janice Thome - Topeka, Kansas

I’m from Garden City Kansas, which is an hour from the Colorado border and an hour from the Oklahoma border. There I am involved in the Dominican Sisters Ministry of Presence... - Read More

Stepping Out of Our Comfort Zone

Carlita Logan - St. Louis, Missouri

I think the message that I want to give—just to reiterate—is I think if each individual would take a moment to step outside of their comfort zone, and you can do that in a lot of ways like Sister said you can be in a coffee shop and say “Hi” to a stranger... - Read More

Rev. Jennifer's Housing Story

Rev. Jennifer Bailey - Nashville, Tennessee

There's a disconnect here in Nashville between this image of wanting to be the "It" city, this image of wanting to be the next big thing, but forgetting that there's a history. So one of the stories that was told at the table around this question of affordable housing and development... - Read More

Matt's "End the Line" Strategy

Matt Habash - Columbus, Ohio

If we're really going to close the meal gap in this country, we've got to have an "end the line" strategy. So we call it "feed the line and end the line." (video) - Read More

Walking 100 Miles for Immigration Reform

Martha Lugo - Nashville, Tennessee

I was part of this pilgrimage, march "100 Women 100 Miles." They set off from York County, Pennsylvania and we met the second part of the march at Baltimore, Maryland. From there, we walked the rest of the journey to meet the pope in Washington, D.C. - Read More

Nutrition Programs and Medicaid Help Children - I Know

Mario - Washington, DC

My name is Mario, and I live in Washington DC. I grew up on food stamps. When I was a kid, my father left my family and my mother was a single mother. She spent most of her time when my father was living with us as a housewife, so she didn’t have many marketable skills after my father left. - Read More