Where were you one year ago? I remember clearly that I was in our little office in First Lutheran Church, looking around at stacks of boxes and wondering how we ever fit so many people, file cabinets & desks into one small space! As we were in the midst of planning for our moving day, we had also received word that a local apartment building had burned down the day before and that more than 20 people were homeless.
As a staff, we knew that Bridges of Hope could help these households with sorting out what to do next, but we really had no idea how to reach out to them, as in literally how to get a hold of them. Well, God is good. As our staff members were leaning on stacks of boxes & discussing ways to reach out, the phone rang. It was Pastor Erika Nilsen from Lord of Life. The owner of the apartment building had reached out to her, and Erika told her, “I know who can help. Let me make a phone call.”
Erika knew to call Bridges, hooray! She passed along contact information and I reached out to the apartment owner who told me the tenants of the building were all housed by the Red Cross & Salvation Army at a local hotel. We made arrangement for our staff to go to the hotel later that afternoon and meet with each household. That way they didn’t need to worry about running around town; we brought our process to them. We were happy to make their day easier in just a little way.
Our Resource Specialists stayed connected with each household in the weeks to come, making sure everyone had access to the help they needed to get back on their feet. In the meantime, MN Teen Challenge, Good Samaritan Society, Prairie Bay, Mid-Minnesota Federal Credit Union & Salvation Army came together with Bridges of Hope to host a fundraiser called, Love They Neighbor.
You, the generous Lakes Area Community, answered the call and contributed to this fundraiser which ultimately helped Bridges & Salvation Army serve the needs of the families affected by the Hillcrest Apartment Fire.
As we settle into fall, feelings of gratitude wash over me. Thank you for helping us be ready to serve the community when challenging situations arise.
Thank you for making it possible to fulfill our mission: To build bridges of support, anchored in Christ’s love, between families in need and the community assets that can help them thrive and gain hope.
Happy Fall to you!