It isn’t often that missing an appointment by oversleeping is a good thing, let alone something that will result in a career.
Somehow, that’s exactly what happened to Margaux Murphy, who was just given the Philadelphia Award for her work as executive director of the city’s Sunday Love Project.
Murphy and the Sunday Love Project are described by themselves as “a liaison between a hungry, struggling mind and a focused, nourished soul.” Her mission began in 2014, after that long sleep caused her to miss out on volunteering at a local church. She instead went to a fast-food restaurant and bought meals for the homeless in her neighborhood.
This simple gesture led Murphy into a life of service for the less fortunate, particularly in the Kensington area of Philadelphia. She and the entire team of dedicated volunteers at the Sunday Love Project spent countless hours preparing meals for those on the street, an often thankless gesture that ultimately goes a long way.
“I am almost never turned away [by someone]. All you have to do is ask and hungry [people] will take the food,” noted Murphy, who not only feeds the homeless and those struggling with addiction, but helps them seek resources.
Murphy often talks to family members of those she feeds, and even “threatens” them by saying things like, “If you don’t take this and eat it, I’m going to call your mom.”
The focus of Murphy and the Sunday Love Project has now shifted from meals to providing groceries for those in need. In August, they opened Greater Goods, at 3200 Kensington Ave., a store open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to noon. No appointments are required, but residents are asked to bring ID the first time and provide a bag for groceries.
Murphy described winning the Philadelphia Award as “awkward,” because she has a hard time accepting praise for her work. Despite that, she’s grateful for the honor, but it’s not something she envisioned when the Sunday Love Project was created.
Murphy also stresses the importance of getting involved and encourages project donors to see where their money is going, to volunteer their time and to get a feel for the impact of their contributions.
“ … The best way to actually help is to just check in,” she noted. “There’s an Amazon wish list and a “donate now” button, which is always helpful, but we have never been an organization that is all about money. I want to get people helping and volunteering …
“There’s a million ways to help … I just want people to get involved.”
In a press release from the Philadelphia Award’s board of trustees announcing its selection of Murphy as a recipient, Board Chairman Pedro A. Ramos, said this:
“Margaux’s passion for helping others is immediately evident … “
To get involved with the Sunday Love Project, visit https://sundaylove.org/services for regular updates. The ceremony where Murphy will be honored will be livestreamed at https://www.philadelphiaaward.org on Nov. 16 at 5:30 p.m.