Catholic Charities honors community advocate Marianne Earle as Humanitarian
Catholic Charities, Diocese of Trenton will honor longtime Freehold resident Marianne Earle with its Richard J. Hughes, Catholic Charities, Diocese of Trenton Humanitarian Award at the 30th Annual Guardian Angel Dinner Dance in September.
Earle is a longtime financial supporter of Catholic Charities.
Politics and a passion for children
Earle has been making headlines lately for her political plans: The longtime Freehold Borough resident is running for mayor.
But Earle has been working quietly behind the scenes for years to improve her community. She is a charter member of the Freehold Center Partnership, a civic-improvement effort; a trustee at Old Tennent Cemetery in Manalapan; and an active parishioner and member of the Handbell Choir at St. Rose of Lima in Freehold.
She is also a dame in the Order of Malta, a religious group that helps people struggling with poverty and homelessness. She traveled with other Malta members last year to Louisiana to build two homes for people in need.
Helping children is a particular passion. She volunteered for years and served as PTA president at St. Rose of Lima School, where her seven children attended, and serves on the foundation board of Collier Youth Services, a Marlboro nonprofit for at-risk youth. Her family’s generous 2013 donation helped the Jersey Shore University Medical Center expand the acute-care pediatric unit in its K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital.
A Catholic Charities donor for years, Earle especially appreciates Catholic Charities’ work to help people recover from addiction. She has 28 grandchildren now ages 21 and younger and worries about them, given the ubiquity of the opioid crisis. For that reason, she also supports Hope Sheds Light, a Toms River-based program that raises awareness about addiction.
Happiest when helping
Beyond charity, she and her late husband Walter co-founded The Earle Companies, a construction business that primarily builds roads and bridges, 51 years ago.
Earle credited her philanthropic mother with planting the roots for her charitable giving while raising her on a farm in Englishtown. “My mother was very, very involved in the community, and I must take after her,” she laughed.
A Seton Hall University graduate, Earle spent her early career as a psychiatric nurse. Although she hasn’t worked as a nurse in a long time, she diligently takes the required classes every year to maintain her license.
While she prefers to be “a background person,” she said she is honored to receive the Richard J. Hughes, Catholic Charities, Diocese of Trenton Humanitarian Award. “I feel happy if I can do something to help somebody – maybe that’s why I became a nurse,” she said. “It’s very rewarding and fulfilling to me when I can look at somebody and say: I helped that person.”
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