Recently, the Morgan Hill Community Foundation honored Mary Ellen Genovese, DM, a Member of the Order of Malta in the San Jose Location, as a 2021 ‘Philanthropist of the Year.’  Matt Wendt, a MHCF board member, as well as an Order of Malta Auxiliary Member, nominated Genovese to receive this special award.

Mr. Wendt noted Mary Ellen’s leadership and hands-on involvement in assembling, organizing, and distributing personal hygiene kits to the homeless in various encampments throughout the past two years during the Covid-19 pandemic as part of the Western Association’s Hygiene Kit Program. Mary Ellen leads the Order of Malta’s San Jose Location Mobile Ministries, which every month delivers hundreds of hygiene kits to the unhoused around San Jose. On top of that, Mary Ellen, along with San Jose Location Member Bill Beasley, KM, have been instrumental in securing additional funding for the Hygiene Kit program so that the Western Association can continue serving the poor and the sick.

During the awards banquet, Vic Giacalone, KM, Western Association board member, highlighted Mary Ellen’s work in a brief video shown to the audience of 250 community leaders, as well as those participating via Zoom. 14 Members of the Order’s San Jose Location attended the event to congratulate and salute Genovese.

“Mary Ellen is an inspiration to all of us,” commented Mike Blach, KM, the Western Association’s co-Hospitaller.  “She truly models our Order’s charism of serving the sick and the poor.  She uses her brilliant organizational skills in a humble manner to lead our members and volunteers to serve those in need.”