Just Sayin'...

October 28, 2016

I would like to take a moment to reiterate something I feel is important. On occasion I have people contacting me stating they are going to donate a particular item that THEY feel we are in need of. This is a concept called 'perceived need vs. real need.' Don't get me wrong, we do have needs BUT we want those needs to reflect the needs of our guests. An example might be you think our guests would like small baggies of rice when in reality our guests are asking for hand warmers or gloves.

Therefore we would like to clarify that it is important to inquire about our current needs, or the needs of our guests, before you bring us a donation that does not serve an real need, just sayin'...

On October 8 we held the Fall Fundraiser for Open Hands in partnership with the St. Paul Sunrise Rotary Club. The purpose was to raise money for new chairs and heavy duty shelves for our main food storage room. Our goal was around $5800.00. With the matching funds from the Rotary and the generosity of those who are associated with Open Hands, we raised that and more. Because of the extra funding, we intend to purchase additional chairs so that all of the old wooden/metal chairs can be replaced. If you had any part in donating to this fundraising effort, THANK YOU! We cannot wait for you to see our new additions. The hope is to receive them sometime in the month of November. That means, although you will be able to see the chairs, you won't be able to use them until next summer as these chairs are for outdoor events.  

Earlier this month I had the chance to take a week of vacation. I certainly enjoyed the day I played 36 holes of golf and the day I got to sit in the front row at the Gopher Hockey game in Mariucci Arena. One of my favorite parts of this time off was being with my Mom who just turned 88 at the end of September. (Note to those who are new to the Open Hands newsletter, my Mom has lived with Alzheimer's since 2004 and is now in the late stages of this yucky disease.) As I spent time with her, walking, singing or just being with her, I was constantly reminded that some of the things I feel are so terribly important are really very trivial by comparison. I have learned to put many things second to my Mom. I don't want to regret that I didn't spend time with her. And so as I sat and read 'The Pokey Little Puppy' and other books to her while she ate the peanut butter cookies I made for her, I Iooked into her deep brown eyes and said, "Mom, I love you". I know deep inside she understood, even if she didn't respond. I'm like the little kid who can't wait to tell their Mom or Dad good news. I look forward to telling her things, knowing full well there isn't the same understanding or reaction I wish there could be, but THERE IS MOM, just sayin'...  
I guess the reason I want to share this is because I think we need to slow down and take time for what is important in life. It's not golfing, hockey or some other thing, it's people.

At Open Hands, we see hundreds of people each Monday when we serve meals. I think it's time we slow down and take time to value those we are privileged to meet each week. I hope I get the chance to be more intentional in doing this and I hope you will too, just sayn'...  

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