Just Sayin'...

April 24, 2015

As I enter the second quarter of my time as Director of Open Hands, I am amazed by the number of people I have been able to talk to who have a passion for volunteering. When I stop to think about these people and their generosity I am thankful beyond words. From the women who prepare the salad and the women who cut up fruit, to those who tray up all the delicious desserts, we are very blessed. But I wonder if you know about a few other people who volunteer nearly each and every week? These people were once on the receiving end and now have chosen to take time giving back as volunteers. I will not give their names but simply refer to them as friends of Open Hands. They take time to clean up after the meal, take out trash, wash tables and do just about anything asked of them. It has been a real pleasure for me to get to know them, trust them and depend on them for all they do, just sayin'....


Another volunteer who I believe does not get nearly the credit she deserves is Vickie Hendricks. Again, I consider it a real privilege to have gotten to know Vickie and work along side her. She sorts and puts on racks every donation that comes into Open Hands. She puts in numerous hours to make things more efficient when the time comes for items to be given away. She also has a very WIDE range of music she listens to (ask her about John Lithgow singing a song called "Singin' in the Bathtub', I'm serious, he sings AND it's a real song!). Next time you are here volunteering take a moment, if you would, to thank Vickie for the generous donation of the countless hours of time she puts in and her efforts in what she does, just sayin'....

A few weeks ago a retired Pastor, and member of my church, was speaking about Jesus words to his disciples in Matthew 4 which state, "Come follow me and I will make you fishers of people." This Pastor said that what Jesus was really doing was asking these men to be inviters of people. He then went on to state how we, at my church, are a very welcoming and inviting congregation. He stated that from the very first time he and his wife came through our doors they were welcomed and invited. He asked us how we invite people to things and challenged us to do that in our every day life.
I like to think of us at Open Hands as a welcoming and inviting place to those we serve. As people come for the Monday meal I try to say welcome or hello to each person. I don't know about your but having someone greet me or welcome me just makes being there feel better. It also makes people respond to you.
Something I like to do in order to make people feel invited and welcome is to call them by name. When I take time to talk to our guests I often ask them what their name is. Then, if I can recall their name, I will use it each time I see them. Because we wear name tags, those we serve often have called me by name. When they do this it gives me a chance to say hi and ask their name. If you are a volunteer who comes here, I encourage you to ask people their name and when you are serving them you can use their name making them feel all the more welcome and invited.

Something else that I want to push this month is food donation. I am fairly sure you all know we have an emergency food shelf that is offered every week on Tuesday's. Recently we have had a significant increase in the number of people coming each week. As a result the quantity of food we are able to give away has decreased. I am asking you to consider donating any of the items on our website under the 'Get Involved' tab and you will find what our most urgent needs are. Next time you are coming to volunteer, or if you are simply in the area, consider dropping off a bag or two of these items.

Finally, it is no secret that an organization such as Open Hands has expenses in order to do the things we do.  I have been bold before and I intend to keep it up by asking you to PLEASE consider Open Hands as a recipient of your financial contributions. All contributions are tax deductible. You may make your contribution online or simply mail a check to us at the address in the footer area of our website. When I think about making a monetary contribution, I often am reminded of an easy way of saving money to make donations. It is called the 10-10-80 plan. You give the first 10 percent of your income to church tithing or for contributions, the choice is yours of course. The second 10 percent of your income is used to invest into long term savings such as an IRA or 401k plan.  The final 80 percent is meant for you to live off of, your daily living expenses. When I heard about this principle more than 15 years ago I started managing my money in this fashion and I have not regretted it, just sayin'..

Oh, and I may as well say it simply because I can....GO WILD, just sayin'.......

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436 Roy Street North

Saint Paul, MN 55104

​Office: ​651-646-6549 x12

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