We regret to inform you that Meg Shope Koppel, a dedicated member of the board of Philadelphia FIGHT has died. Meg did much more than just attend our board meetings, although she was a faithful participant who could be counted upon to show up and offer up her assistance at all times. As an expert in job development, Meg undertook to work directly with our programs including Critical Path and its literacy, computer literacy, job readiness and job training programs, and the Institute for Community Justice which focuses its workforce development on serving citizens returning from incarceration. She met frequently with the staffs of these groups, helped us develop program ideas and seek funding. Meg brought FIGHT to the table when Citywide projects were developed to increase the resources available to us all. Meg served as the Chief Research Officer of PhillyWorks, the City’s job development coordinating agency, a position from which she dedicated herself to helping people with limited education and limited access to jobs gain the experience and tools they needed in order enter the Labor Force. She considered her commitment to her clients to be lifelong, and she helped numerous people overcome adversity and become employed and productive members of our community.
After her death, her husband Dr. Ross Koppel commented in part:
Meg was the most dedicated person I’ve ever known to those in need: the homeless, those with HIV, those who suffered discrimination, and these last decades, to those who needed help getting jobs via training, apprenticeships, education, guidance. She worked with the areas’ educational institutions, with the business community, and with the city and state governments. She was so deeply committed to the people with whom she worked, and of course, to the people it served. She spent a lot of her own money to buy food and gifts for her fellow workers. She said she made more money than many of them. She would bring our home office supplies to her office.
She was also unbelievably generous with our money to charities, to the many groups seeking to help others. She also gave of her time generously to the several agencies where she served on the boards. She was especially committed to Philadelphia Fight, an agency here in Philadelphia that helps people with AIDS. I’m getting calls from throughout the region about her remarkable good works. But how can anyone do anything but admire her for that. If these are Christian ideals, she was the most Christian atheist semi-non-Jewess in the world. My cousin Elliot called her a real mensch. She certainly was.
The head of Phillyworks told me they were receiving statements of condolences from throughout the nation from people in the similar agencies with whom she worked or who were touched by her research and policy work.
— Dr. Ross Koppel