14 June 2012

Loaves & Fishes Teams


For many, Hope Begins With a Meal! Serving in Open Door Missions Kitchen puts volunteers on the front line against hopelessness and hunger. It also allows you to share a smile and a meal with someone who many not have had either for a while.

Did you know...

  • 25% of children in Nebraska don't know where their next meal will come from.
  • 36% of children in Douglas County live in poverty.
  • 1,800 hot, nutritious meals are served everyday at Open Door Mission.

Will you help us feed the

hungry in the Heartland?

Open Door Mission is looking for teams of 10 to 40 people to commit to a 2 hour time frame once a month who would come to help prepare hot, nutritious meals, serve hungry men, women, and children, and clean up after meal time.

Times available for teams
9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
11:30 a.m. - 1:30 a.m.
2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
5:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.


To register your group for a
Loaves & Fishes Team,
contact Corine at
402-422-1111, ext. 1504 or

12 June 2012

The Most Awesome Weekend

The Most Awesome Weekend

Part I:
Friday was the start of an unbelievable weekend of blessings. I met Eagle Scout candidate, Matt R. at the Timberlake Outreach Center so he could drop off his project to benefit Open Door Mission. First surprise was that it took 2 cars to bring everything. By the time the cars were empty we had filled a Gaylord (a really big box) full of personal care products. Matt had written a letter to his neighbors telling them he was collecting for Open Door Mission to make a difference in the lives of others. They responded to him by donating over 800 pounds of personal care items. Thank you Matt, for choosing Open Door Mission as your Eagle Project, and for your dedication and passion to make it unbelievably successful.

Part II:
Friday night I was privileged to say thank you the Vacation Bible School at Living Faith United Methodist Church. The children had decorated small canvas knapsacks for the children at Lydia House as part of their mission projects. Not only did they decorate them, they filled them with fun summer toys. That night they surprised me with 150 knapsacks and a box of toys they had left over after filling the sacks. Wow…kids are so compassionate towards others. Their donations of over 200 pounds of toys and knapsacks will bless so many children this summer. Living Faith VBS…You Rock!

Part III:
Saturday morning I had a lovely drive to Missouri Valley IA to a shower for Lydia House. Every year Jeanie B. opens her home (decorated beautifully of course) and prepares a delicious brunch to collect items for Lydia House. This was my third year and the fellowship and friendship, as well as the food, was perfect.  We sat around the table talking (and eating) about Lydia House and the changes at Open Door Mission. When I finally had to say good-bye they filled my car with 81 pounds of items for Lydia House. Just sharing with these ladies is a blessing and then to have such an outpouring of compassion and caring makes it very special.

Part IV:
Sunday I was honored to give the morning message at Maplewood United Methodist Church. I had spoken a couple of months earlier to the Women’s group, and surprise they asked me to come again for the whole congregation. At my last visit I had let them know that Open Door Mission REALLY needed toilet paper. So I wasn’t too surprised to see they had collected toilet paper, just so much collected toilet paper that it wouldn’t fit in my car! We had to send a truck to go get it. I don’t know how many pounds yet but I know it was stacked pretty high and deep. Thank you to Maplewood for collecting something we need new…not used!

It’s Not the End:
You can be a part of an awesome weekend, or week at Open Door Mission by calling me to set up a drive or speaking engagement, VBS project, or even an Eagle Scout project. I would love to share about YOU can make a difference in the lives of others. Maggie Cope 402-829-1554 or mcope@opendoormission.org.

11 June 2012

The Kitchen is Here

Chef Claude preparing
to feed the multitudes.

If you want a front row seat to the action, I urge you to visit www.opendoormission.org and sign-up for a Loaves and Fishes team to help serve these meals yourselves…because they need us, and we need YOU.

In just two hours, you can make a difference right here, right now—in our community. Ever feel the pressure of having food on the table? ...Waking up, getting the kids ready and in the midst of the morning madness, giving them a nutritious breakfast. Not to mention, packing lunches and rushing out the door. Then at the end of the day, finding a way to get a wholesome dinner served—Just to do it all over again the next morning!

Day after day, hour by hour, and minute by minute it seems all the more difficult to get a seemingly easy task accomplished. Now imagine having to prepare and serve more than 1,800 nutritious meals daily with No Kitchen. That’s right, with no on-site space to get it accomplished.That’s the challenge Chef Claude and his crew faced this past year with the demolition of the old Garland Thompson Men’s Center. Day after day, his staff had to take ingredients and supplies off-site to prepare meals then transport it back to Open Door Mission’s campus where it was served. Because hunger doesn’t discriminate, these meals are served to hundreds of men, women and children alike. They prepared enough meals to feed those we serve, and more, as well as cleaned up to do it all over again the next day.

Candace helping a  Loaves and Fishes
 team  serve a meal at the new
 Garland Thompson Men's
Center Kitchen
By God’s grace, they tackled the challenge! Incredibly enough, not a single meal was missed and not a single person went hungry during the transition. In fact, last year alone our kitchen staff served over half a million meals to hungry and homeless men, women and children. I’m pleased to announce that the newly constructed Community Kitchen opened this spring.

There’s no doubt in my mind that God will continue to anoint Chef Claude and his crew to feed the multitudes. I’m grateful to see God’s hand at work on Open Door Mission’s campus as He multiplies the loaves and fishes to feed his beloved children. Children that, as in Matthew 14:15-21, the world would turn away but Christ Himself would say, “…They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat…bring them here to Me…”

With each meal, Claude’s staff will add a taste of hope and new life to every delicious dish. The best part is our clients can come back for seconds and thirds! No, having the kitchen open isn’t the end. It is just the beginning to all God has in store for these precious men, women and children.

Submitted by Victoria Gaskin
Open Door Mission Executive Assistant

08 June 2012

Promises Broken

Frank grew up in a loving home here in Omaha with three sisters and one brother. His mother is a loving and godly woman who raised her children to respect others, accept responsibility for their actions and do what was right. Frank admits that by the time he reached high school, he was breaking promises he had made to his mother. In an effort belong to the “cool crowd,” Frank started drinking. By the time he graduated from school, he was drinking regularly in the evenings.

Frank was able to hold a good job until his occasional drinking became a breakfast and lunch time event. He started hopping from job to job, never admitting that his drinking was the cause. Alcohol became his “medication” against pain and hurt he didn’t want to face. His family, loving him unconditionally, tried to help him face his drinking addiction. He refused to see the truth, even when he was stealing from them to support his drinking. Once again, broken promises to himself, his son, his family and his mother.

Frank was never homeless on the streets because he lived in his mother’s basement; but he admits, she was ready to practice “tough love” and send him to the streets because of his drinking and behavior. Frank has seen several of his friends die from alcohol related deaths. He was ashamed, so tired and weary of the lifestyle he had chosen that he decided to go to Open Door Mission. He heard it was “a good place” and maybe he could just sleep until he was sober.

Promises Kept…

At Open Door Mission Frank found more than just a bed, he found staff that wanted the best for him and clients that were successful in overcoming addictions. He, also, discovered that he didn’t know the best plans for his life--God did.  Frank has been at Open Door Mission for 12 months and sober for 9 months. He is no longer ashamed of himself; he is forgiven by God, his son, his family and his mother. He has learned not to be selfish and to completely trust God’s plan and promises for his life.

Frank enjoys worship and fellowship at Eagle’s Nest Church and feels blessed to have a mentor, an Open Door Mission volunteer, who helps him grow stronger in the Lord every day. He is no longer lost and ashamed. Frank keeps his promises to God and his family -- to stay sober and to tell others about his new life in Christ. He does this because God has kept His promise in John 3:16, Frank’s favorite verse. God’s promises are kept …and now, so are Frank’s.

John 3:16 -- For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Submitted by
Maggie Cope


06 June 2012

Beat The Heat Drive

You might think that if you HAD to be homeless, summer would be the time to do it. But that would be before you spent a full day outside, under a BLISTERING hot summer sun, with not much to drink, and little or no protection for your skin.

Night falls, and you think you’ll get some relief. But temperatures don’t drop much and you swelter.Not to mention that you NEED a shower, but where  do you go to get one?

That’s why I’m inviting you to help me help our homeless friends. Would you be willing to organize a drive to collect fans, bottled water and sunscreen? These three items make a world of difference in the life of a homeless person. And they are fun and easy to collect.

I know that with YOUR help, we can make a positive difference in the lives of others this year. Please call Maggie today 402-422-1111 for more information about how YOU can organize a collection today!

James Cummings
Public Relations Coordinator