Great FIRST event!
Our organization has not really attempted to raise funds in the past. Our funding has been through “attraction rather than promotion”, mostly people that know us and want to support and join in with what we do.
Our board felt led to urge us out of our comfort zone to create an event to attract those not yet known to us, to test our message and attempt to gain further support – to add both “friends” and “funds” to our organization.
The outcome was overwhelming.
We had about 80 people in the room, of about 60 were people that had no direct connection to us. We presented what we do and how we’re different. We had two great testimonies by people and partners we’ve helped. It was so affirming and uplifting to those of us that work in the organization as well as for our board members in attendance.
We shattered our goal for friend and fundraising. Now, we get to the necessary task of putting these gifts to work in our community through the families we serve.
We are grateful to a generous God and his role in bringing others to us in loving support.
A Refuge from a Troubled Past
The COVID pandemic has changed many things for most of us. For our organization, we’ve had less demand to assist with the traditional housing as there has been (thankfully) a wave of government support for those in great need. So even though our donations will be down from last year, we have some excess funds that we intend to put to work in the community.
At our board of directors meeting in September, we discussed the idea of stepping up the amount of collaboration we do with sober houses. We have been involved with them to a degree, but we haven’t been super intentional about it. The board agreed. So, we have some work to do.
Frequently, as a patient exits chemical dependency treatment, he/she is urged to enter a sober living situation, to put a bit more distance between themselves and their past. This offers a safe and supportive environment to help one get off to a good start in the transition back to “normal” life.
The challenge is while having been in treatment for many weeks (or longer) most have little or no means to pay even a modest deposit for rent. That’s where we step in. We typically will provide a no strings attached grant to the client, while he/she must raise some of the funds themselves and we put our money in last, to complete the agreement.
The picture above is one of a handful of clients expressing gratitude for our good work. Our good work is a reflection of the good God that we serve, give all the credit and all the glory for what we have been provided to share.
More Hygiene Kits!
Yes, we’re “PACK” again!
Our small group as part of our series entitled, “What’s a Galatian?” got socially distanced, but physically together, to assembly 150+ hygiene kits that are being distributed among our homeless friends in Minneapolis.
Each kit included:
- Nail Clipper
- Wash Cloth
- (Pads and Tampons for the ladies)
Such a blessing to have friends that share our heart for loving on others. We’ll distribute these from now through the holidays until they’re gone.
If you have an interest in a project like this, just reach out to us and we’ll help guide you through what needs to be done and we can help with distribution if needed.
Safe and Sober
There is little that is more devastating in the lives of individuals and families than addiction to drugs and/or alcohol. We know how God loves to meet us in those broken places, and the brokenness left by addiction is significant.
That’s why lately we’ve been working with more sober homes. Those living on modest means and/or presently homeless and needing a small financial lift have been eligible for some of the new funds our government has recently made available. Our organization has continued to look for opportunities to “step in the gap” for those in need, and this continues to be a real need.
This woman will be successfully exiting her treatment program and in part due to our assistance, will be moving into a sober living situation. This is a critical steps early in sobriety; to get some “clean time” and establish new, healthy patterns of living. A sober house can provide a buffer between in-patient treatment and “real life”.
Thanks to all who support our efforts. We are “all in” for this woman, praying for her safe and healthy transition. We have little doubt that she will indeed “pay it forward”, as she suggests.
George Floyd was my friend
We met while I was making my rounds as a volunteer Chaplain, and the Salvation Army Harbor Lights is a regular stop on my route. Floyd (I knew him as Floyd) was in a situation attempting to extract an inebriated guest from the building. He was new, and it did not go well – for Floyd. After he moved the gentleman out of the building, Floyd and I spent time together, one to one, discussing the event, sharing our histories, crying and praying together.
Our friendship was born.
Although his employment at Harbor Lights ended, I would see him there, hanging around, visiting with the staff and guests, often with a kind word, an encouragement, or a funny story to share. He seemed to love to be among “the least of these” (as Jesus said). His escape from his hometown was to provide a geographic cure for his struggles, and the time he spent at Harbor Lights was salve on his wounded heart.
We did not spend as much time together as I now wish we had. Our encounters, except for a few, would be brief – maybe 10 or 15 minutes. On a few occasions, as I shared above, we went deep. In the time we shared, I would describe Floyd as:
- A big man (physically, you could not miss that)
- A giver. Floyd had a huge heart and held the world with a loose grip
- A fighter. He was plagued with the same struggles that many of us are, and he pushed against those desires, sometimes losing the battle, but never stopped fighting the war.
- Tender-hearted. He found it easy to come to tears. He was never embarrassed to share from his heart.
- A man after God’s own heart. Floyd identified with David (of the Bible) who was first given this moniker. David was both a sinner and a saint. Floyd desired so much to become the latter.
- A friend. He would light up when he would see me. I know that he looked so forward to our conversations. I know he would call me his friend.
The Floyd I knew was a peace-lover. He detested violence. He cared for his family, in the best way he knew. He had a robust faith and wanted others to meet his God.
His legacy will live on, not through violence but through peace, justice and through real change in how we see and treat each other. This isn’t only a police issue but an issue that continues to cut deeply into the core of our society. Judging someone based on appearance, color of skin or any other superficial trait is simply unfair. It’s wrong. No matter the color of your skin.
Remember, we all bleed red.
—Richard Bahr, Co-Founder and Chaplain at Threshold to New Life
Co-Founder Richard Bahr on Afternoons with Bill Arnold on Faith Radio (4-15-20)
Hygiene Kits Assembled Safely in C-19 Environment
Here’s an idea of how to love your neighbor while continuing to stay safe.
If you or your group packs any hygiene kits, sandwiches or lunches, message us and we’ll figure out how to connect with you so we can distribute.
See how we did this here
Packing Hygiene Kits in a Socially Distant Way for the Homeless
There are things we can do to “love our neighbor” even during a pandemic! It is certainly good for the folks receiving our efforts (of course!) but its also good to get out of our own heads and think about someone else while creating a little “good news”.
You can do something like this, too. And at the bottom of this page, I’ll show you how to contact me and I’ll see to it your effort ends up being provided to someone in need.
Packing Hygiene Kits
We gathered a group of eight people (fewer than 10), maintained six feet of distance and set up two packing lines to assemble 100 hygiene kits for our homeless friends in the Twin Cities.
The kits included: shampoo, body wash, conditioner, lotion (all the aforementioned were “trial sized”), comb, washcloth, non perishable food item (like a granola bar), a razor, deodorant, toothpaste and toothbrush, a shower cap, socks, a list of open restrooms in Minneapolis and inspirational reading material.
We had A LOT items in these kits, but you can keep it simple – toothpaste and brush, shampoo, body wash, deodorant and maybe a pair of socks. All the items are trial sized versions and packed into a gallon-sized freezer locking style bag.
Sandwiches and Lunches
You can also make sandwiches and/or lunches. We prefer somewhat non-perishable (PB and J is best and popular!). One bread bag loaf makes 10 sandwiches (discard the two ends) and repack the finished sandwiches into the bags.
An additional measure is to make a simple lunch. One sandwich, bag of chips, non perishable bar (like granola) and a small water bottle.
Either of these options are appreciated and help those in need of a simple meal.
What to do now?
You can do and event like this with a few (emphasis “few”) friends or your immediate family. Its a great activity to get your school-aged children involved in. Yes, there’s a little cost. The sandwich option is probably the least expensive and the large hygiene kits the most.
For distribution, if you’re comfortable you can hand out yourself to those on many of street corners in the Twin Cities. But I realize that for many this is a unfamiliar setting.
I spend many mornings and a some evenings every week leading a ministry serving breakfast at a downtown Minneapolis shelter as well as doing shelter visits. I’ve been doing this for the past 13 years, and I have been given a heart for broken and struggling people.
I am happy to connect with you to:
- Take delivery of whatever outcome of your packing event(s)
- Pick up whatever you pack (somewhat determinate on your location – I’m in the NW Suburbs)
- You can join me in serving breakfast one morning (we practice social distancing and proper hygiene, so it is about as safe as grocery shopping – as one of our volunteers put it)
Blessings to you and yours as we endure this challenge together,
So very heart warming!
It is never expected, but so wonderful, to receive an acknowledgement from a client we helped.
This young lady is a student, who works and is putting herself through college. She is picking up more hours at her job while on winter break.
Not only is she industrious, she is also gratuitous in providing us with this little thank you card.
So kind and thoughtful. Unnecessary but appreciated.