Submitted by National Episcopal Church Women Staff Writer John Wilkerson
This coming March, Karen Patterson from Dade City, FL, will attend the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW). She will travel to New York for the March 11 – 22 convention.
Her appointment as a representative was announced by Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop and Primate Michael Curry. “I was chosen because of the work I do; working with older women who are not able to take care of themselves: guardianship appointed by court,” Ms. Patterson said. In all, eight women representatives from across the United States, Europe, and South America will assist Bishop Curry.
Ms. Patterson’s professional background lends credence to her desire to support women’s issues. She said, “A large percent of women are in need of later-in-life support because they live longer. They need assistance in applying for whatever benefits they can obtain. Nursing homes are expensive and most of them don’t have the funds to pay for long-term care. We have to find any assets they may have, find if they’re entitled to pensions, social security, deceased husband benefits, and make application for Medicaid.”
The National Episcopal Church Women (ECW) is another organization that receives her support. The ECW is a Christian women’s group dedicated to the betterment of all women and girls throughout the world. It was her leadership at the ECW, coupled with her court-appointed guardian knowledge, that prompted Bishop Curry to appoint Ms. Patterson as an official delegate. In 2018 she was elected president of the international, non-profit Episcopal Church Women.
Her three-year-term as ECW president will focus on helping younger women. “We are looking at the issues in society that women have to face. Women are usually the caregivers for their parents. Sometimes it’s the son but normally it’s the daughter. We want to let them know that we have information that can help them. Many of these women are looking for educational opportunities to assist with employment and family care. We have speakers and resources that are centered on problems in society.”
“I was raised that whatever I had, I was blessed, and it was my responsibility to do for others.” Her words ring true as to how she gives back to the local community as well as taking on social causes that affect women across the globe.