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.

Lunches 2020-04

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)

You can reach me through my website at www.richardbahr.com or email me at FollowofJC@comcast.net

Blessings to you and yours as we endure this challenge together,

Richard Bahr

 

 

 

Good stuff going on in our community

One of our co-founders, Richard Bahr, recently was asked to speak and be on the panel for Anoka County, as they wanted to host a discussion on how can best help and support refuges and immigrants that struggle with homelessness. There were about 70 county workers, from various disciplines, attending either the morning or afternoon session.

Then, he spoke at “Box City”, the annual event hosted at Blaine High School. Over 100 high school students and volunteers slept in large, corrugated boxes overnight while feasting on PB&J sandwiches. Then, up and off to school the next day – without a shower. This is a wonderful immersion experience for these youth, and he was blessed to speak to them to kick off the event for a second year in a row.

And yes, he’s wearing the same shirt in both pictures. All this took place on the same day!

These events happened because of and through the effort of caring people that aim to make a difference in our community. We’re honored to have been included to help and support these fine efforts.

We LOVE Rotary Clubs!

Deb Nygaard Roseville Rotary with Richard & Carla Bahr 2019-06

Our founders, Carla and Richard Bahr, have been provided the opportunity to speak to four Rotary Clubs in 2019 (so far). We LOVE their purpose-based approach, involving community and serving others as the means to work on solving big, global problems such as fighting disease and providing clean water in developing nations.

The most recent talk was at the Roseville Club where they shared about this ministry and how they got involved in serving others. Richard’s most recent book, Those People, was also promoted and sold with all proceeds going to this ministry.

Partnering with others is the best way to work on BIG problems – like housing and homelessness.

Thank you also to the Blaine/Ham Lake, Orono, Brooklyn Park for your willingness to host us and for your care for “the least of these”.

Serving Others Through Packing

T2NL Packing PC Kits 2018-10

One of the things we LOVE is getting folks together to love on others through serving. T2NL acquired the components along with special thanks to Jellycat for providing the travel bags.

Each kits contained soap, shampoo, razors, lip balm, toothpaste and toothbrush, nail clipper, deodorant and an inspirational tract.

We packed 100+ kits that will be distributed to folks in the homeless community at shelters in Minneapolis this fall.

Money Matters

Hope Harbor

We sponsored a seminar called “Money Matters”, in cooperation with #salvationarmy #hopeharbor as a benefit to the residents. Our goal was to provide practical tips and techniques to the attendees, so “you manage the money, your money doesn’t manage you.”

All attendees (13 in all) received a household care kit as pictured above.

Thanks so much to Rob and Nancy for all their preparation and graciousness to take a couple of hours from their schedule to lead this session.

We intend to follow-up in several months to see what folks have developed for new habits and do a brush up on the seminar.

Minnesota Homeless Memorial March & Service 2017

Homeless Memorial March 2017

Carla and I “marched” in this last evening. Our first time.

The two mile walk in the Minnesota cold pales in comparison to what many of those we serve endure during the harsh conditions winter dishes out. The service was moving with dozens of names of the homeless read aloud with a candle lit for each. On the list were the names of each person passing away since last year’s service, either homeless, recently homeless or having served the homeless.

I couldn’t help notice it seemed the average age of the homeless on the list was around the late 40s or early 50s. Too young. Unnaturally young. We personally knew one of the men on the list, murdered last summer at his camp. Very sad.

We hope to participate in the future to honor those that won’t have an obituary printed or perhaps evening having the funds or family for a service of their own.

 

BBQ at High Ground Minneapolis

HG BBQ 2017

We’ve had the opportunity for the past several years to host a barbecue at the High Ground Shelter in Minneapolis. We served BBQ’d hamburgers, hot dogs, chips, water AND smoothies to around 200 people! Our guests were very gracious in their thanks for the meal.

A big “thank you” to Brothers Meat and Seafood of Maple Grove for it’s generosity. And thanks to John, Dave, Steve and Rich for “manning” the operation!

We hope our presence there provided encouragement and fellowship with the shelter guests.

 

Carla Bahr

SECRETARY/TREASURER & ADVOCATE

Carla co-founded Threshold to New Life with her husband, Richard, in 2013. Carla handles the day-to-day operations for the organization dealing with partner organizations and working directly with clients.

She has spent a career in providing administrative support for executives at a number of prominent Twin City companies, which developed her organizational skills as well as the heart of a servant.


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Richard Bahr

PRESIDENT & CHAPLAIN

Having led and grown a leading capital equipment manufacturer with installations in 27 countries serving 17 of the top 20 pharmaceutical firms in the world, Bahr became determined to dedicate more of his time, talent and treasure to helping “the least of these."

He has a B.A. from Augsburg University in Business and has served on the boards of and has actively worked with several charitable organizations throughout his career. As a licensed minister, he volunteers as a chaplain at various homeless shelters along with providing leadership for 2.4 Ministries of Grace Fellowship, serving a daily breakfast to the homeless. He is also a published author. His most recent book, Those People, shares stories about his homeless friends. More about Bahr can be found on his website at www.richardbahr.com.


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Sheila Daniels

DIRECTOR

From Homeless to Faith – Following her experiences in dealing with both homelessness and chemical dependency, Sheila committed her life to Christ in 2004. As God began pulling the pieces of her life together, she began working for a non-profit homeless shelter in 2007, then earned her B.S. in Human Services in 2018. Following multiple promotions, she now is the Case Management Program Manager at the Salvation Army Harbor Light Center in Minneapolis.

Sheila is originally from Chicago and has resided in the Twin Cities since the late ’90s. She is married and a soldier in The Salvation Army. Her empathy for those struggling with addiction, homelessness, and mental illness has oriented her vocation and volunteering to step in to help those in need.


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Danell Gibbins

DIRECTOR

Danell is a hands-on executive with several decades of senior level experience in the wholesale industry. Born and raised in North Dakota, she has lived in the Twin Cities area for more than 30 years, and she and her husband call the northern suburbs home.

In addition to volunteering with Threshold to New Life, she supports a number of other organizations which reflect her heart for poverty, food and family insecurity, and homelessness: World VisionCommon Hope, and Unseen among them. She loves to cook, eat, and make others feel welcome. She translates this into preparing and serving food at Simpson Shelter, Minneapolis, alongside her friends from Grace Fellowship, Brooklyn Park, MN.


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Denise Morrisette

DIRECTOR

A life-long Minnesotan, Denise is married to John and has two wonderful daughters and a son-in-law. She has spent her career as an elementary school teacher in a Title 1 school in a Twin City area school district.

Along with volunteering with Threshold to New Life, she has helped with several other homeless ministries. She sponsors children through World Vision and is currently a coach and mentor to the Girls on the Run organization, which promotes good self-esteem, positive role models, and moral education along with physical activity to girls in grades 3 – 5.


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John Morrisette

DIRECTOR

Also a life-long Minnesotan, John is married to Denise and has two wonderful daughters and a son-in-law. He has been an Environmental Scientist and has been operating his own business for 22 years.

Along with volunteering with Threshold to New Life, John has learned the joys of serving by being a Big Brother since 2012 and is currently a tutor at Sharing and Caring Hands. He has worked with at-risk teens at Maple Grove High School in the STRIVE program. He has also coached youth gymnastics and soccer for many years.


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Rob Van Beusekom

DIRECTOR

Rob was born and raised in the Minneapolis area and currently lives in the Northwest suburbs of Minneapolis with his wife, Nancy. He has a B.S. Degree in Finance from Saint Cloud State University and has spent the last 30 years of his career in corporate financial management and planning.

In addition to his role on the Board of Directors of Threshold to New Life, Rob is involved in several other non-profit organizations. He teaches financial literacy classes for several organizations, serves on the speakers’ bureau of Feed My Starving Children, and is a Compassion International and Campus Outreach sponsor. He is also involved in his church, Grace Fellowship in Brooklyn Park, where he serves as a church elder, men’s group leader, and small group leader.


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Nancy Van Beusekom

DIRECTOR

Nancy was born and raised in Wisconsin and has lived in the Twin Cities for over 35 years. She lives in the Northwest suburbs of Minneapolis with her husband, Rob. She has a B.S. Degree in Finance from University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and has spent the past 30 years of her career in business systems support and project management within the Financial Services Industry, where she recently retired.

In addition to her role on the Board of Directors of Threshold to New Life, Nancy teaches financial literacy classes for several non-profit organizations, ran the church bookstore for 4 years at Grace Fellowship Church, and is a Compassion International and Campus Outreach sponsor.


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