23 December 2008
19 December 2008
15 December 2008
It's not too late to drop off your toys for Operation Santa! Gary Saddlemeyer from KFAB and I had a busy day on Saturday doing a toy remote at the Omaha Credit Union, and we still need fleece blankets, hot wheels, baby dolls, sports balls and board games.
Before that, and in the midst of all the busy-ness, I was on a personal mission last Thursday. I needed to find two pairs of insulated coveralls for two of our program men who are helping in our receiving area as part-time seasonal staff. Todd and Will have been closing each night, putting in long hours with volunteers and running the forklifts in the bitter cold weather.
I had several errands today, so I looked for Carharts where ever I went, and also asked staff to call different places. We called or visited Pamida, Bass Pro, Canfields, Tractor Supply, Dick's Sporting Goods, and Cabela's, just to name a few. I was heartbroken that at the end of the business day around 5 PM, I still had not located the right size for Todd. Will's had been easy to find. Finally, I found something to fit at Canfield's, and James started out to pick them up.
Shortly after James left the building, Dan Applegate from the Timberlake Outreach Center called me to say he was coming up to my office to show me something. Dan and Todd just walked through the door. Todd was wearing insulated Carhart Bibs and carrying a matching hood. A donor had just dropped the set off in our receiving area.
I was shocked, and at a loss for words. You can ask Dan...I was speechless.
I cannot tell you adequately what a direct personal message from God this was to me. It happened several days ago and I am still so full of joy at God's goodness. Because I saw how my God will provide not just the big things, like food, shelter and 21 million dollars...but also a pair of insulated Carharts in just the right size.
This was such an "aha!" experience for me and I know it contained a great message to me from God; much greater than the right size of Carharts. I hope you can relate.
Blessings ONYA cause they sure are on me, and all over Open Door Mission!
12 December 2008
Copy from a recent news article
The Open Door Mission in
“We are experiencing a 46% increase in demand for services this fall because of the economy,” says
Nonprofit organizations providing the needy with food, shelter and services have experienced an increase in demand as unemployment, foreclosure and inflation rates have risen in recent months. While giving doesn't appear to have dropped, many of these organizations are putting an extra push behind their outreach efforts to try to keep up with demand.
The Open Door Mission is addressing the issue with the idea that donating two hours a month can make a difference. “Although people may not have $10 or $15 to give this year, they do have time,” Gregory says.
According to Columbia, MD-based agency Merkle, fundraising is down this year for nonprofits in general, but was up in the double-digit range for social services groups through the end of the summer. Fundraising for nonprofits providing social services “tends to do well in a down economy because the story they are telling is truer and more dramatic than ever,” says Jeff Brooks, creative director at Merkle.
One strategy for fundraising success in these difficult economic times is to keep the messaging relevant, says Lori Burns, EVP at Russ Reid. “Social services organizations have to go to donors and say, ‘The need for services is growing because of what's happening in the economy and we aren't keeping up with demand,'” she says, adding that those nonprofits which continue to talk about business as usual are suffering.
Being relevant, however, can be challenging for nonprofits, which tend to print direct mail months in advance in order to keep prices down. One way nonprofits are getting around this issue is by being more active online. E-mail blasts, social networking, robust Web sites and e-newsletters are all becoming increasingly popular strategies.
The Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty bolstered its online marketing program this summer and now has a more robust Web site, a bigger Facebook presence and an e-mail program using Convio's platform.
“Facebook helps us reach younger people for volunteering and for donations,” says Rachel Wizenfeld, communications coordinator at the Metropolitan Council. “We're not looking for big money from Facebook, but we want to cultivate this group.”
Emergency appeals are another way around the long production cycle for fundraising campaigns. These one-page letters arrive in a brightly hued envelope printed with “urgent” or “emergency” on the front. Inside, the letter boldly states the organization's need and asks for a donation. They are usually sent to an organization's most loyal donors.
In recent years, such appeals have been reserved for natural disasters such as hurricanes, Burns reports. However, Russ Reid put together several this fall, including one for the New York City Rescue Mission in November. “When there is an income shortfall and the demand for services is going up, we feel it is appropriate,” says Burns.
The Open Door Mission's Gregory says that one of her biggest hurdles is educating the public on the challenges facing the organization and the community. “Keeping the doors open during these difficult times requires juggling so many different plates — fundraising, services and volunteers,” she says.
11 December 2008
Open Door Mission's Adopt a Family program encourages sponsors from the community to "adopt" a needy family for Christmas. Sponsors shop, purchase, wrap and tag gifts for all the family members, then deliver the gifts to Open Door Mission just before Christmas.
No small task for most of us, but ABWA attacked the project head-on and had a great time providing for their own "adopted" family.
Many thanks to ABWA for a job well done! We're certain that their "adopted" family will be blessed this Christmas.
10 December 2008
We LOVE our mail at Open Door Mission!
Drumstick on Wheels already seems like a decade ago, but for the recipients, the good lingers on.
Yesterday our mailman brought us this wonderful little gift:
"THANK YOU FOR THE THANKSGIVING BOX!
The lady and child who delivered it were SO KIND!
I will remember you all when I get back on my feet!
-Karen" (not her real name)
What a blessing to know that Drumstick on Wheels made a difference in the lives of so many...recipients as well as volunteers and staff.
Thanks again to all who participated.
04 December 2008
The Omaha Cosmos Club recently brought a semi trailer packed with 6,000 lbs of gently used clothing to Open Door Mission. They initiated the clothing drive (as they do every year at this time) and parked a semi trailer provided by Batten Trailer Leasing in the Omaha Truck Center. Numerous pickups were made to more than eleven locations of CBSHOME Real Estate, Sandoz Elementary School and other locations.
Jerry Nelson serves as the spokesperson for the Cosmos Club, and was on hand to present the goods to the Mission. "People in the Omaha area are generous and want to give to others who are in need," he said. "Our club has a big heart for Open Door Mission & Lydia House. We are proud of the work they do for the homeless and needy. This is one way we can have a part in that good work."
Thanks to Jerry and the club members, plus all the organizations who worked together to make it happen!
02 December 2008
Thank You to A group of MCC TE@M students who recently completed a service learning project at the Open Door Mission. The students developed, prepared and implemented a glove project for children living at the shelter. The children used their creative talents to paint a pair of gloves. The children were also able to color, make a turkey craft and connect with the future teachers of the TE@M program.
“It was wonderful to see the artistic abilities and ownership the children took in creating their gloves,” said Carri Dyer, adjunct instructor. Click here to see the original article online.