Finding Creative Solutions to Help

At Bridges of Hope, we deal with a wide variety of situations, and we try to find not only appropriate but also creative solutions for families who sometimes are facing some unique situations.

One example of the ways we are sometimes able to be creative is Sandy’s story:

Sandy is a mother of two boys: Nathan (age 7) and Kyle (age 4).  Sandy was struggling to find productive activities and healthy outlets for the boys who both have serious mental health diagnoses. Sandy had been utilizing Respite Services once or twice a month, but she was wondering what she could do to provide an activity for the times when they were together as a family. That was when Sandy was connected with Bridges of Hope.

SandboxA staff member met with Sandy and then took the information back to the entire team. As staff pondered Sandy’s story and her concerns, slowly the idea to build a sandbox began to form. A sandbox would provide the boys an active outlet for their ADHD and other mental health issues. Bridges of Hope was able to utilize its Just For Kids fund to assist with purchasing wood, sand, and other materials needed to build the sandbox.

A few weeks later, when the Bridges staff followed up with Sandy, she reported that she had made building the sandbox into a family project, and it was already getting lots of use every day. Sandy said both boys loved the sandbox, and it was a real benefit to have something for the boys to do outside together.

Over the past ten years, we have encountered many different family situations. Some happen more commonly for families: cars break down, someone loses a job, a plan for daycare falls through, or there simply just isn’t enough money to pay all the bills. Others, like Sandy’s situation, have happened only once or twice: gophers chew through wiring, a toddler is sneaking out of the house at night, two boys need a healthy outlet for their extra energy. Whatever the situation, Bridges of Hope seeks to look at each individual family’s story as its own unique situation, and we tailor our services, suggestions and resources to best fit that family’s needs. Bridges was founded on this idea: to simply be the bridge between families and those with the resources to help families. That means the bridge might look different for different families, but that’s the whole idea: that each family is different, and a one-size-fits all solution simply doesn’t work in every case.

For Sandy, her solution was a sandbox. The next time for another family it might be help with a water bill. Or referrals to a housing program. Or help setting up Respite Services to provide a break for a parent. Each time, for each family, we work to connect families with the resources that best fit them, right in the situation they’re in, given the strengths and needs they have at the time. In that way, we are able to constantly adapt our services to best meet the needs of each person who reaches out for support. And that’s what it’s all about: helping in creative ways to build bridges.

Get Involved:

  • Learn more about Bridges of Hope’s services, or refer a family in need to us.
  • Read other stories about how we are helping families connect to resources.
  • Make a donation to support our work with a family.
  • Contact us to make sure we know about the services you provide in our community.

Bridges & Grand View Lodge Working Together in 2012

I am so grateful for our Business Partner of the Year, Grand View Lodge. Over the past 10 years, Bridges has built a strongrelationship with the resort and many of the employees there.

Mark Ronnei faithfully served on the Board of Directors for many years and was a key player in starting up Common Goods in 2009. Mark continues to be a great supporter of Bridges.

Val Knudsen currently serves on the Board as our Treasurer. She is gracious with her knowledge and gives good, sound guidance about financial decisions for the organization. Val is passionate about strengthening families and increasing stability for those we serve.

Val, Mark and I met late in 2011 and I described what Bridges was looking for in our first ever “Business Partner of the Year.” Mark and Val did not hesitate to sign on and here are some of the things we’ve accomplished together already this year:

  • I met with managers at Grand View Lodge in January to describe our services and encourage them to spread the word to neighbors, co-workers, friends and family who could benefit from our services.
  • To continue their earth-friendly practices at Grand View, some managers visited Common Goods and picked up some tips about re-using and re-cycling from Suzanne, our Retail Manager.
  • In May, Grand View Lodge employees “stuffed a truck” full of treasures to be sold at  Common Goods.
  • Plans are underway for the 21st Annual Fred-Mark Charity Golf Tournament, graciously hosted by Grand View Lodge to benefit Bridges of Hope.

Whew! We’ve been busy working together to spread the word about Bridges of Hope’s mission and to ensure the financial stability of our programs. As if that’s not enough, two more fabulous folks from Grand View, Julie Herubin and Jim Benson, called me a few weeks ago and explained that the dining room in their Main Lodge had recently been remodeled (It’s gorgeous, by the way!). They offered to host “Grand Opening for a Good Cause” on Friday, May 18th. Another great way to partner! For more information about this event on Friday night, click here.

Wow! We are so thankful for our Business Partner of the Year and how they are helping us raise awareness about our work with families. As the end of the school year approaches, many families will turn to Bridges of Hope over the summer months when living expenses increase and strain already tight budgets. Extra childcare and food expenses can really add up for families in the summer time and it only takes a minor illness or other family emergency to spiral a family into crisis. Thank you for helping us build Bridges as a place that is prepared to be there for families this summer and all year around. Enjoy the sunshine!