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Healing Hands founder Randy Steger wins second Mary Morris Award

Janel Shoun | 

The late Mary Morris, one of the founders of Character Counts! Nashville, was an enthusiastic proponent of character-building programs, especially selfless service to others, throughout her short life. So it is appropriate that the recipient of the second Mary Morris Award for Exemplary Service to Society, presented by Lipscomb University, has displayed that same enthusiasm and selflessness in his endeavors.

Randy Steger, founder and president of Nashville-based Healing Hands International ( and professor of business administration at Lipscomb University, was honored with the Mary Morris Award at Lipscomb’s daily chapel service Friday, April 13. Healing Hands works through congregations of the churches of Christ to collect, ship and distribute medications, medical supplies and equipment, agricultural aid, school supplies and other items to the suffering nations of the world.

The non-profit organization was born in 1991 when Steger challenged his Lipscomb marketing students to create a marketing and business plan for a humanitarian effort. The students decided to collect and send medical supplies to Eastern Europe. Their efforts were so successful that Steger and a group of local Nashvillians modeled the students’ plan to continue the benevolent project. As a result, Healing Hands was incorporated in 1994 and has now delivered humanitarian aid to 66 countries around the globe.

Healing Hands has delivered $65 million in aid to underprivileged nations. It has provided 150 water wells, 18 million meals to the poor and is now focused on teaching families the technique of drip irrigation for self-sustaining farming.

Addressing a crowd of more than 800 Lipscomb students headed out to conduct service projects on Friday afternoon as part of Lipscomb’s fifth annual Service Day, Steger presented his advice for a service-filled life, “I encourage you to search your heart and mind, to look at the things you are good at, find others with passion and strength to help, and be sure to give God all the honor and glory,” he said. “Do that and someday I hope to introduce you to Mary (Morris) in heaven.”

Morris was an associate professor of education at Lipscomb who succumbed to cancer at age 36 in September 2005. In addition to superior commitment and enthusiasm to educating teachers, Morris established Lipscomb’s Center for Character Development and was one of the founders of Character Counts! Nashville, a non-profit organization that continues to promote character education in the local area.

Steger has more than 25 years experience in the business world and came to Lipscomb in 1983. He is currently the lead professor for Lipscomb’s non-profit concentration in the master’s of business administration. His professional experience includes work as a real estate agent at Marshall Realty, as a marketing consultant for Wilkerson & Assoc., and as a partner with Cook & Kimble and Spring Creek Press. Steger earned his doctorate of business from the University of Kentucky.

Steger was the second recipient of the Mary Morris Award. Last year’s recipient was Nancy Moon Gonzalez, who develops strong curriculum and character education for schools in Guatemala and Honduras.