On Sunday, April 29, friends and supporters of Harmony, Hope & Healing gathered for their annual Heart Beat 2018 celebration marking “15 years of Transformation through Music.”
Angela Hicks, Executive Director of Margaret’s Village, was honored with the Heart of Harmony Hope & Healing Award – given to individuals and organizations that embody and share in their mission to create a safe environment where vulnerable individuals and families heal and rebuild through the restorative power of music. A faithful board member of Harmony Hope & Healing since 2004, Angela Hicks has always been a champion for the organization and its work.
Angela was also recognized for her tireless service to Margaret’s Village where, as executive director, she is dedicated to underserved communities on Chicago’s Southside.
In accepting the award, Angela shared personal stories of how music had always been important, “like a back drop,” to her life and that continues to get her through the most difficult times. From Motown to Sunday Mass, when things were looking bleak, Angela drew strength and inspiration from music.
Angela recalled a childhood memory of her mother singing the Four Tops song – Reach Out. “…if you feel that you can’t go on, because all of your hope is gone, and your life is filled with much confusion, until happiness is just an illusion ….. Reach out! I’ll be there with a love that will shelter you Reach out! I’ll be there with a love to see you through.”
As the audience listened, the lyrics of the song took on new meaning that reflects the circumstances so many new arrivals to Margaret’s Village are faced with. Angela related how “no one wants to come to a shelter. And when they make the courageous decision to come, it’s because they have no place left to go. Family doesn’t want them; or can’t take them. Friends disappear. There is no money … or what little there is someone wants to take from you. Hope is gone.” And so, Margaret’s Village opens its doors, to provide shelter and resources to empower women, children and intact families to help them to restore their lives.
Angela recalled her introduction to Harmony, Hope & Healing and Marge Nykaza that seemed to happen “just on time” like in the lyrics of On Time God – “He may not come when you want Him, but He’ll be there right on time.” Harmony, Hope & Healing arrived with music that touched Margaret’s Village residents who were broken and battered. Hope began to return to those who had none.
The synergy between Margaret’s Village and Harmony, Hope & Healing is strong and everlasting with purpose to bring shelter, empowerment and love. As Angela reminded us all in her closing mantra, “reach out! I’ll be there.”
The audience was moved to tears with a standing ovation.