Sister Debbie Blow, O.P., a co-founder of the North Country Mission of Hope, was recognized as a New York State Senate Woman of Distinction at an event in Albany Tuesday, May 7.
Senator Betty Little nominated Sister Debbie for the recognition, citing her many years of humanitarian outreach to the people of Nicaragua. Since the founding of the mission in 1998, more than 1,300 volunteers have made 49 trips to Nicaragua, delivering food, medical supplies and clothing and building homes, classrooms, a library and community development center.
“Like many North Country residents, I’ve read a lot about Sister Debbie’s work, all the good that the North Country of Mission has accomplished for people in true need of humanitarian relief. She is an inspiration to me and I was very happy to have the chance Tuesday evening to share her story and her remarkable work with all of my senate colleagues,” said Little.
"I am truly humbled by this honor and accept this award on behalf of the incredible donors and volunteers of the Mission of Hope and most importantly, on behalf of the poorest of the poor in Nicaragua,” said Sister Debbie. “The Mission of Hope is a true testament to the power of humans and our ability to improve lives- one heart at a time. I am very grateful to Senator Little and the NYS Senate for this distinct honor. I believe that we are all called to share our gifts and blessings and together, we can rebuild a world of HOPE, of justice and of peace.
"The empowering aspects of the Mission of Hope rests in the time, talents and treasures shared by thousands of volunteers and donors from the North Country, as well as those well beyond New York's borders. It is always so hope-filled for me to witness how our lives change when we strive to serve others.”
In addition to her mission work, Sister Debbie serves her community as a lector, Eucharistic minister and scripture teacher at St. Peter’s Parish in Plattsburgh. A former finance board member of the Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine of Siena, she was a member of the Teacher Trainer and Religion Curriculum Committees of the Diocese of Ogdensburg.
Sister Debbie is a founding member of the Dominican Sisters of Hope. Her transforming quote is: “My college education prepared me spiritually, intellectually, and emotionally for ministry committed to transforming the world by changing one heart at a time. My commitment to justice is lived by standing in my truth as a Dominican Sister, and in reaching out to the global community, especially those marginalized by poverty, hunger and lack of education and healthcare. I believe my mission is to live HOPE – to be HOPE – in a world desperately in need of HOPE, and that my life as a Dominican has prepared me incredibly well for that mission.”
The New York State Senate Women of Distinction program was created as part of the State’s celebration of Women’s History Month. In addition to recognizing present-day women, each March, the Senate hosts a display that honors other distinguished women from New York’s past.