In December, Mr. Mikes Steakhouse Casual had a contest. Guests could nominate a local non-profit organization that they felt was going over and above to make a positive impact on their community. After combing through all the nominations, they chose Open Arms Mission as the winner based on the number of entries received and the touching stories that accompanied them. Below is one of those stories. We received a $500 donation for continuously striving to affect positive change in Welland. Thanks to everyone who nominated us!
"I want to nominate Open Arms Mission for a few reasons! The first reason is they helped me! Not JUST by giving me food but also by empowering me to help others! It is because of them that I have a deeper knowledge of how to help others in the community.
The second reason is because this contest is about helping an organization that helps the community. At Open Arms Mission, everyone is welcome. There's nothing quite like feeling like you are part of a community. You belong here. If you just want to sit and talk to others like yourself who might be struggling, you can do that. If you want to feel productive, you can volunteer and help out in the food bank or hygiene bank. Maybe you are lonely or need a hot meal, you can go to the Saturday lunch. Maybe you are new to the area and struggling with furniture or clothes, they will give you a voucher to get clothes from the thrift store, Redeemed Goods. Maybe you just moved out or are starting fresh and don't know how to cook, sew or garden, Open Arms Mission has classes to help you learn and become empowered. Maybe you are recovering from an addiction and need some support, you can attend the Redeemed Lives meeting where you can meet others who are on the same path as you. Maybe you just need a friendly smile or someone to care about you. That's where superstars John and Pastor Rob Collier come in! They are always ready to listen to you and talk to you! Pastor Rob provides Pastoral Care and is always willing to pray with you if you ask.
I also love to make superstar Melissa Kirkpatrick, CEO of Open Arms Mission, proud. She does she job well, managing the many needs of the clients while on a budget, ensuring that every single penny and nickel that is donated doesn't go to waste. It's amazing to see what she can do with a mere $10, let alone $500, so I feel confident that they money would be put to great use.
The third and final reason I'd like to nominate Open Arms Mission is because it's not just the staff who shine, it's the volunteers and clients who go there who shine too! It's amazing how resourceful they are and how when in need they help each other out."