Driven to help others, Mount Laurel woman believes small kindnesses make big difference


Catholic Charities, Diocese of Trenton is pleased to honor Kathleen Spivey of Mount Laurel as our Light of Hope of Burlington County.

Kathleen SpiveyFor Kathleen Spivey, helping others is a moral command instilled in childhood.
“Our clothes always were hand-me-downs to younger relatives. You never acknowledged the fact that what your cousin had on Easter Sunday had been your outfit the year before,” she said. “You didn’t acknowledge that you had given something to someone – it was just what you were supposed to do.”

The Massachusetts native grew up in a large Irish Catholic family: Two aunts were nuns and two uncles were priests. She went to a small Catholic college in Texas and went to work for Lockheed Martin, recently retiring after a 39-year career in finance management there. Lockheed Martin also encouraged its employees to help others. So after moving to New Jersey in 2002, she began supporting Catholic Charities and joined its Burlington County Board, which she served on for 10 years.

The scope and breadth of Catholic Charities’ services keeps her a loyal supporter.
“Catholic Charities reaches out to everyone – they help people from all faiths, all socioeconomic groups. This truly is an organization universally helping the community. If you need help, they will provide it,” she said. “Catholic Charities staff and volunteers genuinely care about others and want to see them have a better life. Whatever their problems are, Catholic Charities puts a hand out to them. And that was the hook to me. That’s why I got involved.”

Kathy helps people in other ways too, because, as she says: “We talk about it takes a village to raise a child. There are so many people in need.”

After she retired, she became a volunteer CASA (Court-Appointed Special Advocate), appointed by the Family Court judge to advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children. She also has been active in United Way donation drives and the South Jersey Heart Walk.
She said she was deeply humbled to be honored as the Burlington Light of Hope.
“I’ve always been very fortunate in my life,” she said. “Even small things that you do can make such a big difference for someone else.”

Kathy is a mother of two – her daughter is a high school teacher in East Brunswick, and her son and daughter-in-law live in Boston, where he works in financial management. She enjoys traveling and is a parishioner at St. John Neumann Church in Mount Laurel.

Celebrate with us!

Kathleen Spivey will be honored during Catholic Charities, Diocese of Trenton’s Guardian Angel Benefit of Hope on Thursday, September 9th. It’s free to tune in! Register today here.

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