- by Kay Kuehn, Executive Director
Possibilities and Opportunities
Possibilities. One of the Core Values and Beliefs of Open Hands states, "All things are possible". For a number of years we at Open Hands have talked about the possibility of adding a second day of meal service year round to our program offerings. Two things need to happen before we can, as I like to say, jump in full throttle. We need a bigger volunteer base and we need financial support. Can you imagine the impact another 14,000 meals could have in this community!
Are you like me, do you believe ALL things are possible? I want to give you two opportunities to help us stop talking about the possibility and make it a reality we jump at full throttle. The first thing you can do to help is to think about your friends and family members. Are any of them looking for a place to volunteer their time? Your opportunity to share Open Hands is being presented. Why not ask them to volunteer by telling them about Open Hands. It can be like wildfire, once you tell someone and they do volunteer, they tell others to give it a try and it just keeps spreading. The second thing you can do is think if you or someone you know are looking for a place to make a financial contribution? If you go to the 'Get Involved' page of this website you can click the link that will take you to the Open Hands donation page, it is that simple. Other ways financial support can come to Open Hands are available to Thrivent members because you can direct your Choice Dollars to us or you can create an Action Team (see our website Homepage for details on both of these options). If you are a current or retired employee of 3M who volunteers at Open Hands, you can turn those volunteer hours into a matching monetary grant (again, see our website Homepage for details). If every person reading this truly believes ALL things are possible, I am certain you will make the efforts required. If you don't, who will?
Opportunities. Recently I have been blessed with some great opportunities to make new connections and invigorate some old connections for Open Hands. One thing that I have heard from many people I have talked to is how they had no idea about all the programs we offer. Most think we only serve a meal on Monday and that is it. On March 15, I had the opportunity to speak at Beaver Lake Lutheran Church in Maplewood. This was a chance for me to share with some people who had never heard of Open Hands. The possibility now exists for these people to think about how they might like to become involved with Open Hands to help fulfill our work and mission in St. Paul. On March 26, I had the opportunity to speak at Redeemer Lutheran Church in White Bear Lake. This was a chance to thank them for the significant involvement they have with Open Hands and to tell them about our vision of beginning a second day of meal service. There are presently about 60 volunteers from this church who assist with our Meals Programs, Panera Bread pick up, and Food Rescue program from Target in Shoreview and Kowalski's on Grand Avenue. They have also been faithful in supporting us financially over the years.
They raised money to get brand new Bibles for their Sanctuary and graciously donated the old ones to us to be given to our guests who request them. The picture to the right is me with just a few of these, there were about 8 boxes total.
On Sunday April 2, I have the opportunity to invigorate our partnership with Trinity Lutheran Church in Lindstrom. Last year they made the move from being our partners who help serve meals when there was a 5th Monday in a month, to serving every 4th Monday of a month. They are also diligent in bringing laundry soap to be given away to our guests during our meal program. I have to say I am looking forward to speaking and sharing with them our vision of beginning a second day of meal service in the near future.
I guess I could go on and on because I do have some other meetings set up with more people and continue to work on ways to invigorate the partnerships we currently have. I truly believe ALL things are possible and look forward to the day I can say, "We serve meals on Monday's and Wednesday's all year long." I hope you will consider how you can help us make this a reality too.