23 September 2006

What an AWESOME day

This morning, friends and family of loved ones and the Open Door Mission had a great opportunity to celebrate changed lives. It was Graduation day for members of the New Life Recovery Program and the Resident Rehabilitation program. During graduation, it is so moving to hear the testimonies from the graduates. There was one family, a mom and dad with their three girls, and six men. For many of them this is the first time completing something. This is a new beginning and season. Following graduation, the alumni served a fabulous buffet.

This afternoon, Bellevue Christian Center's Youth Masters arrived to volunteer. Many assisted in the Food Service department with Bible Believers Fishes and Loaves team. This allowed the homeless to be served in a banquet style setting. A very special treat. Others volunteered in the Bright Space and Tutoring Lab, and many went to work in the pantry.

Salem Baptist Church's Men of Honor individuals and families volunteered late this afternoon and evening. For the first time, the Open Door Mission opened the Outreach Center to serve the near homeless in our community. There were approximately 750 individuals served through this outreach event.

Last but not least, the Open Door Mission was able to participate in the Benson Parade. Many volunteers, alumni, and current program members and staff were able to hand out candy and Hobart stories to parade spectators.

19 September 2006

Ambulance Stolen

Well, it is not everyday that someone gets to report that an Ambulance has been stolen. In fact, this is the only occurrence that I am aware of in the Open Door Mission's history.

I want to assure you that Open Door Mission takes precautions to create a safe environment for the clients served, the volunteers and staff.

I am grateful that the client, the public and the police officers involved were not harmed during the incident.

On a more positive note, more than 100 Open Door Mission clients are assessing the bus line that has now expanded to include Abbott Drive.

I plan to blog on the Keno initiative, tomorrow. Tune in.

06 September 2006

Emergency Services

Hope that you all had a great time with your friends and family over the holiday weekend. I spent the majority of my time spring cleaning or should I say, "fall cleaning". I just kept procrastinating. Oh, but how good it feels to be organized and decluttered. Is decluttered even a word? Oh, well.

Monday was a highlight for the Open Door Mission. It was our final day of the Homers for the Homeless program with the Omaha Royals and our monthly food drive. This season, each time a home run was hit at a home game, the plate was passed, no pun intended, for the Open Door Mission. There was more than $1,700.00 collected. The check was presented to me during the bottom of the 3rd inning.

Tonight, I attended a meeting with the Emergency Services staff and clients. For the last six months, staff have been planning and preparing for changes. They have been working on being cross trained in chaplain duties and case management. Tonight history was made at the Open Door Mission. Effective, tonight, every man that enters Emergency Services will now have a case manager assigned to work with them, personally. Through strength based case management men will be supported on reaching their goals and preventing homelessness in the future. This is very exciting.

On a personal note, I will be flying to Seattle on Thursday to be with family. We will be celebrating the life of my great Aunt Lib. Recently, she celebrated her 90th birthday, in July. But this past weekend, she passed on to another celebration, eternity in heaven. If you have questions or concerns or uncertainty about where you will spend eternity, please email me personally at cgregory@opendoormission.org I would love to send you a great booklet, Step Up To Life.

01 September 2006

Karen Applegate

It is Friday. Not only that, it is a Friday before a three day weekend. Everyone gets excited when you have an extra day off and if you are like me anticipating an extra day off, you are beginning to winding down. Dan (my husband) and I are in a small group from our church that meets every other Friday evening and this is the week. I love our friends from the small group. We all desire to have a closer relationship with God and a side benefit is that we have a lot of fun. I thought about this week even skipping it because of the long weekend. Today I cannot even remember why I thought about that. Why would I think just because I am getting an extra day off work it would be okay to skip studying God's word with friends?

Okay, I am human.

This morning I attended a monthly meeting at the Better Business Bureau regarding their annual integrity award. The committee is made of representatives from various types of businesses from our community. I know what the word integrity means, but I decided to look it up today. Other words for integrity are honor, nobility, credibility, character, and decency. I enjoy working with the people on this committee because they truly care about the "integrity" in our community.

When I think about these two groups of people in my life, they are very different. They represent all walks of life. They do come from different faiths and different social and economical settings. The goal for each is to strive for "integrity" in everything they represent.
One of my responsibilities at Open Door Mission is to make sure that all fund raising expenses are spent wisely and never exceed an unacceptable level. I am proud to be a part of an organization that strives for the highest level of "integrity".

I am so blessed, God has put many people in my life that represent credibility, honor, and integrity. Now that I actually thought about it, is there really a better way to start a three day weekend than studying God's word with friends?

Have a great holiday weekend!