Business owner. Bicycle enthusiast. Photographer. Father. Husband.
And, just one year ago, Biff Ulm added ‘board member’ to the list.
“I first became involved with Bridges of Hope after being contacted by a friend to serve on an advisory team for their retail store, Common Goods,” Biff noted. “I quickly discovered the true impact that shopping and donating to Common Goods has on our community as a whole. I truly believe when one learns about all the good Bridges does for the Lakes Area, it’s hard not to want to donate time and personal resources to such worthy causes.”
Biff, who – himself – knows the retail world well as manager of Zaiser’s in downtown Nisswa, has since increased his involvement with Bridges of Hope, including serving on planning committees for the annual Glow Run and the Afternoon Tea.
“The focus of every Bridges event is about those attending and the cause they are serving. One quickly learns, Bridges is one hundred percent about investing in people of all walks of life. To see so many people come out and support each other, makes for an extremely enjoyable time.”
As both a Bridges board member and supporter, Biff rolled up his sleeves and worked alongside hundreds of volunteers following the July 12th storm that hit the area – cutting trees and providing for the needs of those hardest hit.
“Hands down, the biggest event in the Lakes Area this year was the storm that devastated the communities north of Brainerd,” he said. “One doesn’t have to travel far to see the scars and work that continues to be done in so many neighborhoods. To see how quickly Bridges of Hope took the lead in coordinating a multi-organizational effort to help those in most need was amazing.
“In the areas hardest hit, one witnessed so much selfless giving by neighbors helping neighbors. I spent two days on Bridges of Hope volunteer clean up crews and two additional days with other volunteer efforts. What I heard over and over from property owners was the true heroes of the storm were those individuals who were there to
answer the phone for those in most need the days after the storms. Bridges of Hope staff listened and acted with care and compassion to help coordinate a massive effort across many organizations and hundreds of volunteers to get those in most need the help they needed.”
“While Bridges had never coordinated such a mass effort, they did so with such
ease,” he continued. “Never did the Bridges of Hope board or paid staff waiver on whether they should play such an integral role. Instead, they immediately focused on how they could do the most good. This illustrates the strength of this amazing organization.”
Biff said he most appreciates the effectiveness and scope of the Bridges organization and its staff, never ceasing to help build a stronger community.
“The level of synergy and teamwork should be the standard for any nonprofit,” he noted. “Bridges serves the entire Lakes Area by helping so many overcome life’s obstacles. I think one of the most humbling stories I have heard over and over again is how Bridges has helped families who never thought they would need help in the first place get back on their feet. One never knows when bad luck, or an action of no cause to one’s own, will put a family in a difficult situation. Knowing there is an organization that treats people with dignity and love to overcome unexpected hardship, gives so much inspiration. It is why I am proud to call Nisswa and all the surrounding areas home.”
YOU can provide hope to those in need! From now through year-end, Bridges needs to raise $60,000 to meet the needs of our friends, family, and neighbors in the Lakes Area. Click here to make a 100% tax-deductible donation or your can mail a gift to PO Box 742; Brainerd, MN 56401.
Week 7 update of our campaign: we are halfway to our goal, at $31,600!
Thank you for giving.