2022 Helping Hands Award Dinner

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The 37th Helping Hands Award Dinner was held on Wednesday, May 4 at Hilton Garden Inn, located in South Bend. The 2022 honoree was community organizer, Gladys Muhammad. The theme, Serving the Community, recognized the significant contributions her work at the South Bend Heritage Foundation and as a volunteer with numerous organizations has made to improve the quality of living for our community.

A South Bend native, Muhammad retired from the South Bend Heritage Foundation in 2020 after 34 years of service. She joined the foundation after working for the City of South Bend and helping start The Shelter, a 24-hour emergency shelter for abused women sponsored by the YWCA. Even in retirement, Gladys continues to be instrumental in organizing South Bend’s yearly Martin Luther King Day celebration.


Her connections in the community run deep, from her roots on the west side of South Bend where she grew up, and into local government, non-profit organizations, and higher education.

The Helping Hands award is the most recent in a memorable list of honors for Muhammad. These include:

  • South Bend Hall of Fame
  • Sagamore of the Wabash
  • Key to the City
  • YWCA Woman of the Year
  • Congressional Tribute by The Hon. Joseph Donnelly