Jack’s Column

Recently I attended a gala banquet held by an organization called Faith in Action.  This is a yearly activity to raise funds to actually help put their faith in action.  I have been to the banquet in past years, but I am amazed at a gathering of 250 people with a goal to help those less fortunate.  Their helping activities are going on in local communities in and around Becker.

This past year their helping included; rides to medical appointments of 32,000 miles, 84 new clients, 2,384 hours by groups, and 60 local families giving furniture to start their lives over.

These people are using their “Gift” to help others.  Ephesians 2; 1-10.  “By grace you have been saved through faith; …  it is the gift of God-not the result of good works.”

When I first arrived at Shepherd of Grace with my wife 5 years ago, I needed some time away from personal care for my wife.  I had an apartment; she was receiving care in the cottages.

My daughter thought I needed time off once in a while.  Somehow, she found Faith in Action.  Their creative contact sent over one of their faithful member workers – Fred.  He was the right choice to provide social interaction.  We had lunch for the first time at Shepherd of Grace dining room.

Fred is a local person born in Becker, active in the community, city council, and historical society.  This helped me get acquainted and fill a need for social interaction.

Since our first meeting, we meet for lunch once a month.  Fred has included a fellow Faith in Action person, Butch, who enlightens our two-hour luncheons.

The staff at Faith in Action have provided another contact for me in a form of a mother and daughter.  Eloise and mother will visit ever so often armed with a plate of cookies made by Eloise.  She also includes some of her artwork directed toward me.  I am not the only one to benefit from treats, several other older residents receive treats also.

It is interesting that April is National Volunteer month.  As specifically April 16th – 22nd is Volunteer week.  An article in the “Bright Side of 50” is dedicated to volunteers.

According to the article, about 25% of U.S. population volunteer.  We live in a state that is known for volunteering.  Over 40% of our residents participate in formal volunteerism.  Among these gracious people are Barb and Connie at Shepherd of Grace.  They exemplify “Minnesota Nice” at its finest.

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