Sister Christina Heltsley, OP

Christina Heltsley, OP, was mentioned in the Feb. 21 edition of the Redwood City Pulse in an article titled “Sister Christina Hetlsley steps down, Kate Young steps up as new executive director at St. Francis Center.” The article reads, “Young is left to fill large shoes as Heltsley raised the funding to build hundreds of affordable homes; transformed a neighborhood trash site into a garden; eradicated gang violence; and provided clothes, food, and showers for those in need in San Mateo County.”

Christina was also honored March 14 with a silver medal Jefferson Award for “multiplying good” in California’s bay area. Award recipients and their stories were featured on KPIX CBS News. “She has embraced people and changed lives since she took over the St. Francis Center to serve low-income families 23 years ago,” said the emcee. “She’s transformed Redwood City’s North Fair Oaks neighborhood which was run down and riddled with crime, drugs, and gangs. . . . She also started a small school.” The Jefferson Award program was cofounded by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis 50 years ago to honor those who put others first. Christina is now eligible for a gold Jefferson Award at the national level.

Each year, Edgewood College, Madison, WI, recognizes an outstanding alum for accomplishments in various categories. Christina was named the 2024 recipient of the Dominican Mission Award, which recognizes her commitment to social justice and her extraordinary volunteer service in the community, country, and world. The awards event will be held in September 2024.