Sue's Story

Sue Beaton

Some of you might already know Sue Beaton. She has been fighting for social justice most of her life, including here in Lowell. A former nun, her first job was at St. Patrick’s school in the Acre, one of the city’s poorest and most diverse neighborhoods. Sue now works for the Paul and Phyllis Fireman Charitable Foundation, focusing on programs to prevent family homelessness. 

After working as a court advocate in Dorchester and Roxbury, Sue spent a year learning about grassroots organizing in Washington, D.C., then headed to South Carolina in the late 1970’s, where she helped residents fight gentrification and launched one of the nation’s first food banks, always making sure that the people affected had a seat at the decision-making table. 

A trip to a remote (think two hours of travel in a chicken truck) area in the Amazon rain forest changed her forever. “Here I was, someone with two master’s degrees and I couldn’t get out of my own way. These families, who had nothing, fed me their chicken while they ate rice. It taught me that generosity can come from unexpected places.”

Not long after finding her way back to Lowell, Sue agreed to serve on the Health Center’s Board and also became a patient so she’d understand “what was happening on the ground.”

“I know from my organizing work that it’s really hard to improve a system if you don’t know where it’s breaking down,” Sue explains. “The Health Center really appealed to me because it isn’t a program, it’s part of a social justice movement.”

“Our community would not be as healthy as it is without the Health Center. It is a powerful force for good.”

And, as Sue marvels, look what we have become — thanks to generous supporters like you. 

Please join us as a force for good by making a donation to the Health Center. We serve more than 600 patients each day, and the number is growing. You can trust that your support will have direct and immediate impact on the lives of so many people, for generations to come. 


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