Dustin & Ashley’s Moment

Ashley and Dustin are a married couple with two children. The family has been struggling to make ends meet for quite a while. So often, when families live in poverty, it is extremely difficult to get ahead. For this family, and for many families living in poverty, the saying “when it rains it pours” was completely accurate.

Ashley contacted BridgHere_comes_rain_againes of Hope in April looking for help with rent. Neither Ashley nor Dustin had employment which means it is hard for agencies to assist because it is difficult to show that the rent is sustainable. I encouraged the couple to obtain employment and, once their situation changed and income increased, to call back.

Ashley called back, less than a month later: she and Dustin had both found jobs! They needed help with gas for their first week of work and also with childcare for their youngest child. Bridges of Hope was able to help with gas through our Spirit of Kindness Fund and with childcare through our Crisis Nursery Services. Ashley & Dustin were now able to complete their first week of work successfully!

Next, I had Ashley fill out a full intake so I could take a look at their whole situation. I discovered that the couple did not have car insurance; Ashley stated that the reason they didn’t pay the insurance was because, if they did, they wouldn’t have enough money to afford food for their family. I started to look outside the box to see what could be done to best help the family. It was decided that Bridges would get them caught up on car insurance to prevent any further crisis & expense that could come from driving without insurance.

Due to the hard work from this family, and the fact that they were willing to do each thing I had asked, Bridges of Hope helped them catch up on their past due rent. Now they were able to start fresh without any past due bills. The family was very thankful for all of the help they received and continue to work hard to provide for their family.

Thanks to the support we receive from local churches for our Spirit of Kindness Fund and our Resource Connection Services, we are able to help families like Dustin & Ashley’s with a fresh start.

You can support these services too by:

Thank you for helping us build Bridges!


Upcycling Tip of July

We are excited start offering up-cycling how-to instructions on our blog from Common Goods.  Each month we will give you one step by step project you can complete at home for up-cycling a piece of furniture or other items you have around your home or have purchased.  We really enjoy working on these projects and have a very gifted staff who enjoy to making these pieces new again, to offer at our store.  Volunteers also come in once a month to work on up-cycling pieces as well.  We are so blessed at our store with talented people, who love to spend time creating these pieces of furniture and decor for our customers to purchase.

The cool thing about all of these items being available to purchase is, you are supporting the work of Bridges of Hope.  Bridges of Hope is so blessed by the revenue generated from our store, which helps Bridges serve families in the Lakes area.

So without further ado, here is our first how-to project for you to try at home.

Shelving. Many of us have old, or not so pretty looking shelves around our house, garage, storage unit, etc., it is time to spruce them up!

Step 1: Decide what color you would like to paint, and then go purchase paint and necessary items to do so, as well as, a bottle of mog-podge with a brush for applying.

Step 2: Also gather pieces to mog-podge on the shelf, such as, fabric pieces, tissue paper, napkins with designs on them, newspaper and many other porous items

Step 3: clean the shelf with a damp cloth

Step 4: Paint shelf the desired color, allow to dry completely

Step 5: prepare the items you are going to mog-podge onto the shelf

Step 6: Paint on a small space of mod-podge

Step 7: place first piece of paper, napkin (seperate into two pieces by gently pulling them apart), etc., to stick on top of the mog-podge glue you just painted.

Step 8: gently brush on mod-podge over the piece

Step 9: repeat steps 6 and 7 until you have completed the areas of the shelf you wanted to mog-podge.  Optoins are: the top of the shelves alone, the entire shelf, only the top and sides, be creative the sky is the limit.

Step 10: once completed with mog-podging, let dry over night.

You are now done, and ready to place in the area you desire to display your new piece!  For extra protection to your piece, you could spray a coat of clear poly-urethane or shellac.

Here are before and after photos of one we created at Common Goods.

Before 2




Again, we are excited to offer you these tips every month.  We would also love to see the pieces you have created.  If you desire to share your pieces, please email the before and after photos to meghann@bridgesofhopemn.org.  We will occassionally post these items to our Facebook page, anonymously, for everyone to see.  Happy up-cycling everyone!


Visit our Facebook page by following this link: https://www.facebook.com/commongoodsmn

To donate to Bridges of Hope follow this link:  http://www.bridgesofhopemn.org