ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP/WCCO) — The founder of a Minneapolis charity that assists thousands of poor people each month is among the 13 recipients of the 2012 Presidential Citizens Medal.

Mary Jo Copeland of Sharing and Caring Hands is set to be awarded her medal by President Barack Obama next Friday at the White House. She was among those chosen from some 6,000 nominees for the nation’s second highest civilian honor.

Copeland founded her charity in 1985. It provides food, clothing, shelter and other assistance to low-income people in the Minneapolis area. Copeland volunteers her time as do most of the Sharing and Caring staff.

Minn. Sen. Amy Klobuchar says Copeland exemplifies Minnesota’s tradition of voluteerism.

“Mary Jo Copeland has devoted her life to caring for the homeless in Minnesota and has been a strong voice for those who too often are not heard,” Klobuchar said. “Mary Jo is a shining example of the strong tradition of service in our state, and I am proud that President Obama has recognized her tireless work with this great honor.”

The award dates to 1969 and recognizes people who have performed exemplary deeds of service to their country or fellow citizens.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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