29 May 2010

Volunteers are Awesome!

Over the past few days, Open Door Mission has been blessed by the hearts and efforts of some wonderful volunteers – pitching in to help with some desperately needed maintenance and repair projects. Things happen around here 7 days a week, 365 days a year, making these projects necessary and difficult to accomplish.

One of the awesome groups we had this week came from the United Methodist Church in Ainsworth, NE. They came in to spend Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday working on various projects. They have been very busy tearing up the concrete ramp in the back of the administration building. This is going to make the Toy Bagging go more smoothly, as the concrete was so cracked and damaged that it was very hard to maneuver the forklift or pallet jacks. The team also repaired the concrete pad at the back of the kitchen, so we are able to get various food donations into the kitchen. Other members of the team helped put together Food Pantry Boxes so we can continue providing them to the community. One final group spent some time at the Timberlake Outreach Center sorting through a mountain of donated socks, that will also be distributed to those who are in need.

Thank You,
Cris Morris
Volunteer & Partner Director


Make a difference in the lives of others by donating your gently used clothing, furniture and household items. Donations can be dropped off at our receiving area now located on the east side of the Timberlake Outreach Center, 2107 E Locust St
• Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
• Saturdays from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Interested in hosting a drive for new items? Contact Maggie here.

Sign up to Volunteer.

Donate Now

28 May 2010

Answer to Prayer

I cannot begin to relate how fortunate I feel to work in an environment where specific prayers are answered. I have a client who refused prayer each week, as we conducted case management. Although I deliver the Gospel faithfully every session he refused to participate in prayer at the beginning or conclusion.

Two weeks ago, my client’s car broke down and the place where he works does not allow enough hours to afford the repairs – a starter. After catching the bus to work for a week, and having no solution in sight, he agreed to try prayer.

This week, he appeared at my office door with a big smile across his face. With a sheepish posture and a humble voice, he confessed, “the LORD answers prayers”. He found out his car only needed a boost!

Jesse Powell
Men’s Emergency Services Coordinator

Make a difference in the lives of others by donating your gently used
clothing, furniture and household items. Donations can be dropped off at our
receiving area now located on the east side of the Timberlake Outreach Center,
2107 E Locust St
• Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
• Saturdays from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Interested in hosting a drive for new items? Contact Maggie here.

Sign up to Volunteer.

Donate Now

26 May 2010

Open Door Mission Tour

St Andrews United Methodist Church had a tour of Open Door Mission’s campus. This is their experience…



"That was a great experience.”
“Can I go back on Monday?”
“We need to come back as a group.”
These are just some of the comments heard after 50 of us attended Open Door Mission Tour on Saturday, May 15. We were all amazed at what they are doing. Not only are they feeding and providing a place to sleep for the homeless in Omaha, they are also providing education, training, rehabilitation and Christian counseling. We saw the new Lydia House for women and children. The Lydia House provides space for children to play, be read to, and celebrate birthdays. It also has a youth room, computer lab, fitness center, and a classroom used to help people prepare for a job. We shared in a mission project by making over 1,000 lunches and preparing laundry soap for individuals to use. It was a busy place as children and adults scurried around to finish this project in record time.

Candace Gregory, Director of Open Door Mission, also mentioned the immediate need for mattresses. She let us know that items can be dropped off at Williamson’s Automotive at 14911 A Circle. We are discussing the possibility of setting up a specific time each month to go to Open Door Mission as a group and join them in breaking the cycle of homelessness and poverty.


Will you join us for a tour?

Schedule your tour with Cris…402-422-1111, ext. 1504 or e-mail here

JoAnn Dodd
Public Relations Coordinator

Make a difference in the lives of others by donating your gently used clothing, furniture and household items. Donations can be dropped off at our receiving area now located on the east side of the Timberlake Outreach Center, 2107 E Locust St
• Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
• Saturdays from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Interested in hosting a drive for new items? Contact Maggie here.

Sign up to Volunteer.

Donate Now

24 May 2010

Open Door Mission Staff

My name is David Bernard and I have been working at Open Door Mission for just a while now. I chose to work here because it afforded me an opportunity to minister to those adversely affected by poverty. Having been here only a short time, I am impressed with the programs that are offered to those seeking freedom from addictions and in need of employment skills. There are also many other programs being offered throughout the Mission that seek to help people in need. Poverty can be greatly misunderstood. It is a vicious cycle that the staff at Open Door Mission seek to break on a daily basis. There is such love for God and for hurting people prevalent among the staff and leadership, that I count it a real blessing to work side-by-side with many of them.

David Bernard
Garland Thompson Men’s Center Day House Supervisor

Make a difference in the lives of others by donating your gently used
clothing, furniture and household items. Donations can be dropped off at our
receiving area now located on the east side of the Timberlake Outreach Center,
2107 E Locust St
• Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
• Saturdays from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Interested in hosting a drive for new
items? Contact Maggie here.


Donate
Now

22 May 2010

It’s the Small Things that Matter!!

I just graduated college a couple of weeks ago. Right before I graduated, about 30 of the students from my school, myself included, came to volunteer for a day at Open Door Mission. We cleaned the kitchen, served lunch and were able to take the Lydia House children to the Amazing Pizza Machine. Each child was paired up with a student and had the opportunity to have 1-on-1 time. We ate supper and played as many games as we could cram into one hour. The children had a blast.

The next day at work, I was stopped by one of the mother’s whose child had gone the night before. She told me her son could not stop talking about how much fun he’d had. She had been a little leery of letting him go, because he has an illness which is affected by contact with germs and too much physical activity. However, her son begged her to let him go. When he got home from the Pizza Machine, he was walking very slowly and complained that his whole body ached. His mother said, “Well maybe you shouldn’t have gone then.” Her son quickly answered saying, “No Mom, I had the most fun ever!! I want to go there for my birthday! And you know what? I felt like a real kid for the first time ever.” His mother had to hold back tears telling me this, and I did as well.

For some of the kids that live at Lydia House, it’s the small things that matter. Being able to get them off campus for even just 3 hours, away from some of their problems, can seem like a small gesture to us – but to those kids, it means the world.

God is Good!

Jessica Michaels
Lydia House Single Women Case Manager

Make a difference in the lives of others by donating your gently used
clothing, furniture and household items. Donations can be dropped off at our
receiving area now located on the east side of the Timberlake Outreach Center,
2107 E Locust St
• Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
• Saturdays from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Interested in hosting a drive for new items? Contact Maggie here.

Donate Now

20 May 2010

Summer Activities at Lydia House

Well, we are in full swing activity here at Lydia House. We are so excited for our ribbon cutting ceremony and have been making final preparations for days. As the Director, I am so blessed to work in this wonderful building. We have the ability to serve so many more women and families than before and I can’t wait for everyone to see how God has provided for so many in our community.

I’m also excited that in two weeks, we are starting our Bible Day Camp. For the first time we are able to serve breakfast, lunch, dinner and two snacks to each child. This is truly an answer to prayer. Many times we see children come to this outreach ministry who are living in poverty and don’t know when their next meal will be. They are so malnourished that they have zero energy to participate in a full day of activities. Can you even imagine children ages 5-12 with zero energy?!

We are also, for the first time, having all of our day camp staff and children here at Lydia House for the entire 10-week camp. My Children & Youth Director has stated that it is going to be a “very full but blessed house.” Summer has begun, the children are getting out of school and Lydia House is bursting with activities. We hope you can come by this summer to see all that is going on. Check out what we do every day at camp on our website http://www.opendoormission.org/.

Blessing,
Charity Watts
Lydia House Director

Make a difference in the lives of others by donating your gently used
clothing, furniture and household items. Donations can be dropped off at our
receiving area now located on the east side of the Timberlake Outreach Center,
2107 E Locust St
• Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
• Saturdays from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Interested in hosting a drive for new items? Contact Maggie here.

Sign up to Volunteer.

Donate Now

19 May 2010

Greetings from Lydia House

Ten years ago, when I became a Graduate of the New Life Program, I had a life verse:

Phillippians 4:13
“I can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens
me.”


This verse got me through many challenges. When the opportunity came along to be able to work for Lydia House, I was very thankful.

What a great way to serve the Lord. I’m not only able to repay Open Door Mission for the time and love they invested in me and my family, but I’m able to share my talents to help others.

Now I have served for ten wonderful years and still going strong, mainly because I am still leaning on this verse when I get tired and weary. Jesus always comes through and gives me supernatural strength to make it everyday with a smile.

Angela Casper
Overnight Supervisor for Lydia House

Make a difference in the lives of others by donating your gently used
clothing, furniture and household items. Donations can be dropped off at our
receiving area now located on the east side of the Timberlake Outreach Center,
2107 E Locust St • Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m.
– 6 p.m. • Saturdays from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Interested in hosting a drive for
new items? Contact Maggie here.


Sign up to
Volunteer.


Donate
Now

18 May 2010

The World at Our Doorstep

The Timberlake Outreach Center and Open Door Mission have a growing ministry to its volunteers, and supporters. Many of the people that help us daily are part of Nebraska’s Employment First program. In our state, in order to receive welfare benefits, participants are required to log a certain number of hours of work experience. This provides vital assistance to human services organizations, but also helps reinforce the necessary skills to gain and maintain employment.

You may have heard that the Tyson plant in Council Bluffs recently laid off many of it’s workers. A large portion of those people are refugees from Burma. They have been relocated by the United Nations from the Karen (COR-in) region of Burma, to escape the genocide being carried out by the Junta military regime. Most of the Karen that now volunteer at Timberlake Outreach Center speak little or no English. Their energy and willingness to help at all times has been a tremendous blessing to the staff. We have had to learn names not familiar to us, and also some new words, like “ta blu do ma” (thank you). Thinking of how far these precious people have come, and the atrocities they have had to face, puts my day to day “struggles” in perspective.

The Timberlake Outreach Center serves a vital role among the ministries of Open Door Mission. It is the primary center for outreach to near homeless and prevention of homelessness in the Heartland. However, as we have learned, our reach goes far beyond that! Thinking of this, one day we started listing countries from which we have received clients. We then took a desktop globe and started putting pushpins in each nation or geographical area we have “served”. Here is what the globe looks like now

What a privilege to be a part of such a global ministry, right here in Northeast Omaha.

Darren Timberlake
Community Case manager
Timberlake Outreach Center

Make a difference in the lives of others by donating your gently used
clothing, furniture and household items. Donations can be dropped off at our
receiving area now located on the east side of the Timberlake Outreach Center,
2107 E Locust St • Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 6
p.m. • Saturdays from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Interested in hosting a drive for new items? Contact Maggie here.

Sign up to Volunteer.

Donate Now

14 May 2010

Miss Daisy

Here at Timberlake Outreach Center, there are many clients who stand out. We have one who holds a special place in our hearts. I will call her Miss Daisy. She is an elderly lady who comes to our monthly Senior Day. You may be envisioning a sweet, old lady who calls you “honey” and sugar” and gives out candies and hugs. You would be wrong. Miss Daisy can be demanding, picky, and sometimes pushy. At least she was, until recently.

She came in a few weeks ago, not on Senior Day, to get some needed items. It was a slow time, so Kelli and I had time to sit down and talk with her. We found out a bit more of her story. She lives alone – all her children and grandchildren have moved away. Like many Senior Citizens, she’s on a fixed income, but still has to pay bills and buy prescriptions. Miss Daisy is hard of hearing, and her vision is horrid. She is struggling just to survive – physically, emotionally, and spiritually. At the end of our time, Kelli prayed that God would not only provide financially for her, but that He would bring someone into her life to be a companion and advocate. Miss Daisy thanked us for our time, and we gave her the items she needed.

A couple of hours later, we received a call from her. She was upset with what we had given her. It was not exactly what she wanted. After demanding that Timberlake Outreach Center pay for these items and that I pay out of my own pocket, I was finally able to explain what happened. We don’t always have exactly what she needs and we had given her the best we had. “You gave me the best you had?” she asked. “Yes, Miss Daisy, we did.” Her attitude changed 100%. She spent the next five minutes thanking me for all that we have done for her and putting up with her. Miss Daisy gave me and Timberlake Outreach Center her blessing, and thanked God for us.

I truly wondered if this change in attitude would last. So far, it has. When Miss Daisy came in for the next Senior Day, she had changed. In fact, when we couldn’t give her what she needed, she said, “That’s Alright. I know you are doing the best you can.” I have talked to her a few times since, and Miss Daisy has pored out her thanks and blessing on me and Timberlake Outreach Center.

Now we understand Miss Daisy’s story, and she understands we are doing our bust to help as many people as possible. Because we took the time, a relationship has been formed. Miss Daisy’s heart has softened toward us, and ours toward her.

Micole Harms
Bilingual Receptionist / CaseManager

Make a difference in the lives of others by donating your gently used
clothing, furniture and household items. Donations can be dropped off at our
receiving area now located on the east side of the Timberlake Outreach Center,
2107 E Locust St
• Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
• Saturdays from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Interested in hosting a drive for new items? Contact Maggie here.

Sign up to Volunteer.

Donate Now

13 May 2010

Kids Café

Kids Café is our newest program for the children who live in the Lydia House and Permanent Supporting Housing; it is healthy food prepared by our chefs. It has been a fun experience to see the children coming out of their shells, playing and hanging out together. Kids Café provides food and helps develop friendship between kids. The encouraging fact is, we started with 10 kids and now have up to 37 children coming to eat. Kids don’t always like healthy foods, but Chef Claude cooks with love and the kids keep coming back. We are still looking for volunteers to help with this program. Contact Cris Morris at 402-829-1504 or email for more information.

Corine Sawadogo
Volunteer & Partner Assistant



12 May 2010

Rebuilding Lives Campaign…What’s That?

It is the new Lydia House, but it is more than that! The Lydia House opened earlier this year and has more than doubled our capacity to serve single women and families.

It is Permanent Supportive Housing, but it is more than that! Ground is being moved this week so new Permanent Supportive Housing can be built this summer. 46 units of affordable housing will enable many of our graduates to firmly establish stability in their lives.

It is a new Garland Thompson Men’s Center, but it is more than that! 2011 will bring a new Men’s Center to the Open Door Mission Campus.

Rebuilding Lives Campaign is a new Lydia House, new Permanent Supportive Housing, and a new Garland Thompson Men’s Center; but, it is really more than that! The Rebuilding Lives Campaign is really about the people residing in each of these building as they experience change that transforms their lives. Changing lives is what the Rebuilding Lives Campaign is ultimately about.

Contact me so you can be a part of the change!

Scott Shreve
Senior Development Officer
email here
402-829-1538

10 May 2010

Wow-What a Great Two Weeks!

This has been a great two weeks. I have been busy speaking at various events and schools-sharing about Open Door Mission and Lydia House. As always the fellowship is the greatest blessing, but other things also stand out. There was a Lutheran Women’s conference in Blair that let me share my passion for Lydia House, fed me a delicious luncheon with great fellowship, but also blessed Open Door Mission with over 350 pounds of personal care items from a Hope Totes drive. The Care & Share group from Westside also invited me for lunch to share about Open Door Mission and volunteering opportunities for seniors. This senior group keeps active and also blessed Open Door Mission with a Hope Totes drive that filled the trunk of my car. The One Hope group at Calvary Christian, a group of busy young mothers, found time to come together to hear about Lydia House and collect personal care items for the families.

Two Skutt High seniors invited me to hear their senior project presentations on Veterans and Homelessness, and Mental Illness and Homelessness. As a former teacher, this was a special blessing for me as I had the privilege of teaching one of the classes for their project. While at Grace University several students came up to tell me they had volunteered at Open Door Mission and how much they had enjoyed it. One student told of how he had lived at Open Door Mission while his dad went through the New Life Recovery program-what a success story for the family-the young man graduates from Grace this year. Sharing with the health care students at the OPS Career Center allowed me to share ideas with the students on new and different ways to use their education helping others.

It is always a delight to share with young people, and the children at Southside Christian in Council Bluffs were wonderful. They chose to do a Hope Totes drive also with great success. The seventh graders at Beadle Middle school are collecting school supplies for the children and youth staying at Lydia House. It is heartwarming to see the compassion and caring of these futures leaders. The Council Bluffs Public Library sponsored a Volunteer Fair for Teens. Young people like to volunteer at Open Door Mission! Do you have a youth group looking for volunteer opportunities? Call Open Door Mission – we would love to have you come and help us change lives.

The end of a busy and blessed two weeks was the Silent Auction and Dinner this past Tuesday. It was a wonderful evening meeting donors and supporters of Open Door Mission. Seeing so many people take time out of their busy lives to fellowship and bless Open Door Mission was the best way to spend an evening. If you missed the Auction Dinner this year make sure you are there next year-I will be looking for you!

Yes, it has been a blessed two weeks. Thank you to everyone that not only touched my life, but touched and blessed the lives of others by choosing to make a difference through donations, volunteering and praying.

Maggie Cope
Communications Coordinator
402-829-1554