By: Noelle Beans
“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”
This quote by Mother Teresa allows people to fathom how simple acts of kindness have immense – and eternal – effects.
Marie Beechy, a 2017 graduate of Indiana Wesleyan University’s master’s program and this year’s Distinguished School of Nursing Award recipient, understands this concept tenfold.
Beechy first attended Indiana University in Kokomo before her first nursing employments and before beginning her education at Indiana Wesleyan University (IWU).
She began her nursing career at St. Vincent Anderson, and in 2008 she moved to New Orleans where she worked for a company to analyze healthcare claims and develop wellness programs. At the same time, she worked part-time at a private psychiatric hospital.
When she returned to Indiana in 2016, she went back to work at St. Vincent where her previous experience had been pleasurable. She is also an adjunct professor at Marion University.
Both of her current employers have a focus on caring, respect and compassion for patients.
Beechy said, “I am thankful that I work for companies that encourage my Christian values to be displayed in my workplace.”
She also feels that working in the field of mental health gives her many opportunities to impart encouragement and kindness upon the people who need it the most.
Another way Beechy imparts God’s love in her life is through her ministry, One Refugee Child. This ministry stemmed out of a crowdfunding project called One Stroller – Many Steps Forward.
In a series of events, this project gave over 57 strollers to Syrian refugees and inspired others in Chicago, and even London, to do the same.
By January 2016, One Refugee Child expanded their projects to include blankets, hygiene supplies and winter clothes.
Facebook invited Beechy to their headquarters in 2016 to tell her story and from there, the ministry gained momentum.
One Refugee Child raises funds to improve the day-to-day lives of refugee children through projects that focus on health, development and education. The organization believes in pragmatism, in simplicity and in initiating specific projects that reflect changing needs and conditions on the ground. Most importantly, they believe in bringing comfort to children in crisis.
Their mission statement echoes Mother Teresa’s words: “Small kindnesses. Targeted projects. Transparency in the donation process. Huge impact.”
When asked about receiving this award, Beechy stated that she was surprised and very humbled.”
Beechy began her ministry with no intentions to do anything but help mothers and children in different circumstances.
Every opportunity has given her a chance to raise awareness about the crisis and help others to see what small things they can do with great love. They may be able to look back on their lives, like Beechy will be able to do, and see they have done great things.
Written by Noelle Beans, a writer for the IWU Alumni Center. Noelle is a sophomore Nursing and Honors Humanities double major at Indiana Wesleyan University in the John Wesley Honors College from Greenville, Illinois.