Valerie Biden Owens decades of work and support of the Ministry of Caring earned her the Sr. Ann Marguerite Gildea Award.
According to the ministry of caring, the award is given to “individuals who have demonstrated outstanding commitment and leadership in helping the Ministry serve God’s poor.”
Vice President Joe Biden introduced his sister before she received her award, saying “I take particular pride in being able to say that I’m her big brother.” Valerie joined the Ministry of Caring’s Board of Directors in 1982 and eventually went on to serve as vice president and president of the board. She is still on the charity’s board. The VP choked up while quoting Hamlet in praising his sister, “As Laertes said to Hamlet in the fifth act, scene one of Shakespeare’s play, ‘A ministering angel shall my sister be.’ Well, he might as well have been talking about my Valerie.”
After being introduced by her brother, Valerie received the honor and said, “I accept this award tonight with humility and applause. Humility in that I am the recipient, and applause in recognition of the bravery of the thousands of women over the past 33 years who have walked through the doors into the ministry of caring.”
The Ministry of Caring was the first shelter in the state for battered and homeless women. The group’s philosophy is that “the poor should never be treated poorly.” The Ministry operates three locations of The Emmanuel Dining Room in Wilmington and New Castle, plus four emergency shelters for men women and children. The group also provides housing and care for people with AIDS and dental and medical care for the poor.