31 December 2009

Timberlake Outreach Center

As we come to the end of 2009, I can't help but reflect on this past year and how God has provided and met the needs of people in our community through people like you. I work at the Timberlake Outreach Center Community Services where our staff serves over 6000 people each month. Our clientele are the working poor, people who are in extreme crisis or nearly homeless. The work at the Timberlake Outreach Center is PREVENTION. We are helping to prevent many of our near homeless, working poor clients from becoming homeless.

I remember thinking in January of 2009 it could be a very difficult year. Our economy was hurting, many businesses were closing, the unemployment rate was climbing and our cliental was rapidly increasing. People from all over Omaha, the surrounding Metro community and small towns were coming to the Open Door Mission Timberlake Outreach Center to receive resource case management, food, diapers, clothing, furniture and appliances etc. I wondered if we would be able to continue to meet our clients growing needs?

Well, I am happy to say we did it! You did it! GOD did it!!! And we made it through another year. Through God's love and life changing power, your donations, and volunteer time, we were able to provide our clients with help for their present situations and hope for their future.

Thank you for partnering with us to help change lives for eternity; we couldn't do it without you.

Joyfully serving Jesus,
Judy Collins
Timberlake Outreach Center Director

30 December 2009

Friends of the Friendless

Friends of the Friendless is a group of volunteers that meets the first Tuesday of each month for a delicious lunch and several hours of work together here at Open Door Mission.

Friends of the Friendless was first organized as the Ladies Auxiliary in 1956. Its purpose was to pray for the new work that was being done among the homeless in Omaha. The women involved also offered their services to help financially and practically.

Times have changed and the work of Open Door Mission has expanded in many ways. The Ladies Auxiliary changed its name to Friends of the Friendless in 2007 – we’re not just for ladies anymore!

Our purpose has not changed though. We spend the first hour of our meeting eating lunch and listening to testimonies from graduates of the New Life Recovery program. That is the most exciting part for me. It is awesome to hear how God has used Open Door Mission to bring people from a life of despair to one of hope and joy. We also hear from a current program member and learn what circumstances God used in their life to bring them to this place of refuge and healing.

We spend some time hearing about the needs of the mission and praying that God will supply for all of our needs. After a short business meeting, we spend a couple of hours (or whatever time each of us has available) on service projects: sorting clothes, making sandwiches, bagging laundry soap, or working together to make fleece blankets. Projects vary according to the need; but there’s always a variety.

A Mission with a big vision needs the support and prayers of many volunteers – we are so thankful for our Friends of the Friendless. We are always looking for more friends. If you’re interested in checking us out, our next meeting is scheduled for January 5, 2010 at 11:30. Call Cris at 422-1111 ext 1504 if you’d like to join us or need more information.

Judy Ward
Friends of the Friendless Prayer Chairman

28 December 2009

A Praise

Severe weather conditions allowed me the opportunity to minister to our participants Christmas day. My heart was warmed by the spirit of brotherly love and compassion they exhibited toward one another. I was moved even more, and I must admit tears came to my eyes, as I witnessed families with children brave the elements to come here on Christmas Day and serve the homeless population. What a blessing it was for this staff to observe such acts of unselfishness, kindness and love toward our fellow man. HALLELUJAH!!

Jesse Powell
Men’s Emergency Services
Day House Supervisor

23 December 2009

Greetings from Lydia House

My name is Leann Quiroz and I am the Lydia House Day Supervisor for single ladies and families. We are these last few days before Christmas, assuring that every family and single woman will be blessed with gifts, hot delicious food, love - but most of all, they will hear about CHRIST.

I have been helping with our Adopt-A-Family program. I just want to say ‘thank you’ to everyone that adopted a family or single woman here at Lydia House. You have truly made this Christmas brighter for them.

Blessings
Leann

21 December 2009

Having Faith

This is a lesson of having faith and remembering who is really in charge.

I’m involved in the Project Santa program and last Friday we were hoping to finish stuffing the 4,500 toy bags Open Door Mission is giving out on Tuesday, December 22. We only had 25 more bags to stuff for the newborn to 12 month boys. We put blankets in all the bags, however, we only had enough blankets for 14 bags. We began discussing what we were going to do, as we really needed to complete this age group. We forgot for a moment, that God was in control. A few minutes into our dilemma a donation was dropped off - someone had brought in 12 crocheted blankets. This was one more than we needed to finish the 25 bags.

A great example of how God always knows what we need and when we need it!

Patty Sloderbeck
Volunteer Department

18 December 2009

Radiothon Update

As one of the Open Door Mission staff members who helped facilitate KGBI’s Hope for the Hungry Hope for the Holidays Radiothon, I want to thank the KGBI listeners for their invaluable support in helping those in need.

The Heartland’s generosity is overwhelming—462 individuals were sponsored during this all day event. You are providing hope and encouragement for the men, women and families with children who are struggling during this Christmas season.

Thanks again and praises to our Lord and Savior for helping Open Door Mission serve the community. Without you, we couldn’t provide Hope for the Hungry Hope for the Holidays.

Linda Gunderson
Advancement Administrator

16 December 2009

Employed again after 9 years!

When Ted came to Open Door Mission, he had been unemployed for nine years and everything he had was lost. He often thought “what am I living for”. He knew that the Journey to Work Program would help him as he had been jobless for nine years after a very successful career in the banking field.

Ted started the Journey to Work Program ten months ago. After completing the required course work and the WorkNet Program with intensive case management, he was ready to do his independent job search and get back to work. Praise the Lord!

Ted is now employed and is praising the Lord that he was given a second chance and that Open Door Mission was able to assist him when he needed help the most. Ted is now saving money so that he can move into his own apartment after the New Year.

Tyrone Abdul
2911 SuccessNet Case Manager

15 December 2009

Thank You

I want to say thank you to all the wonderful companies, churches, organizations and people in the Omaha area. It is my job to set up drives for Open Door Mission - especially Project Santa which provides new toys for children. I was beginning to get a little worried as the toys weren’t arriving very fast. A big reason being our snowy weather. Finally, as the weather started to clear, companies, churches, groups, and individuals began bringing their new toy donations.

However, we still need more toys to provide presents for over 4,500 children that would not otherwise get Christmas presents. It has been hard on everyone economically this past year, but there are still those that can and choose to give in order to make a difference in the lives of others. We need people with generous and compassionate hearts to bring new toys to Open Door Mission. Your gifts will bless many children and their families by giving them hope.

We still need new unwrapped toys - primarily the following items:
  • Teen Board Games
  • Puzzles – all ages
  • Baby dolls
  • Barbies
  • Play sets – children 1-2
Thank you, again, to all who have given - you are making such a difference. Bless all of you who will give to meet this need. We appreciate your making a difference in children’s lives. May you all have a very merry and wonderful Christmas!

Maggie Cope
Communications Coordinator

12 December 2009

December Blessings

We have had a great couple of weeks at Open Door Mission. The first week of December, we registered over 4,500 children for Project Santa. Twenty-six percent of those we registered had never received services from Open Door Mission before. Another 47% showed that this was only the second time they came to us for service. It was interesting to visit with some of those first timers. They were so grateful to have us in the community to help in their time of need.

This week, ConAgra came to Open Door Mission to “Shine the light on Hunger”. In just a 3 hour period, we served over 2,000 meals. We left the Timberlake Outreach Center open that evening, so the community could utilize their trip to east Omaha. Open Door Mission, with the help of Payless Shoe Source, was able to provide 200 children with new shoes. Many of the men, women, and children were also able to receive a new winter coat.

I normally work during the day and usually only go to the main mission building to give a tour or for a special event. The dinner was held on Thursday—one day after the storm. During my visit, one of the employees from Men’s Emergency Service told me that we slept about 300 men in emergency services on Wednesday night. I have been keeping stats a long time at the mission and I believe this is one of the largest crowds we have had. We were glad to provide even the smallest space on the floor for these men.

With the number of men, women, and children we are serving, Open Door Mission is in desperate need of blankets, linens, and pillows. Many of the men that night did not have anything thing to sleep on except for a coat, or the clothes they had with them. If you have any of these gently used or new items, please consider donating them to Open Door Mission.

We continue to be very grateful for the generosity of those in the Heartland. We could not serve those in need without your assistance.

Karen Applegate
Advancement Director