Our team members volunteered at Sharing and Caring Hands this November and December by preparing and serving lunch meals to the poor. We look forward to these events every year.
We are thrilled to be able to support this organization because the work that Founder Mary Jo Copeland and her team does makes an impact on the less fortunate. She provides a safe and engaging environment in which people can help others who lack basic resources. Over 94% of money raised for the organization goes directly to the poor.
Learn more about Sharing and Caring hands at sharingandcaringhands.org.
At the end of December, we had another team from Gaughan Companies head out to Sharing and Caring Hands to help prepare and serve the lunch meal. (Our first team went in November.) They had a blast, and a few reported that they were blessed to be able to serve others in this way. This season, of course, reminds us to donate our time, talents and means to those that need help. We look forward to the possibility of making these trips an annual tradition.
On Saturday, December 3, a group of volunteers from Gaughan Companies, the Forest Lake community and area youth gathered together to begin demolition at the site of the Lakes Area Youth Service Bureau’s new space. LAYSB is moving from their current building to the Town Center building in the heart of downtown Forest Lake. The plans for the new space include an education center, group rooms, counseling room, office spaces, reception and staff areas. Gaughan Companies is excited to help LAYSB be able to continue their mission to help the youth in our area.
LAYSB began in 1976 by local law enforcement, teachers and concerned citizens in the Forest Lake, Minnesota community in an effort to help young first time offenders from violating the law again. Since its creation, “the programs have evolved to include Youth Enrichment & leadership, Jobs Plus Programs, Mentoring and Family Support in addition to early intervention for youth, ages 9 to 18 years.” The bureau serves the Forest Lake School District and all of Chisago County.
Gaughan Companies has a long-standing relationship with Sharing and Caring Hands, a non-profit organization, and with the founder Mary Jo Copeland. I have been volunteering at Sharing and Caring Hands for over two decades. I now bring my children to volunteer, too.
Located in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Sharing and Caring Hands provides assistance for those in need. It was established in 1985 by Mary Jo Copeland and provides services such as meals, clothing, showers, shelter, transportation help, rent deposits, rent help, medical assistance, dental care, furniture, school expenses, and other miscellaneous needs.
Twelve employees from Gaughan Companies (and a few of my children) volunteered at Sharing and Caring Hands on Monday, November 14 by preparing and serving the lunch meal. Before every lunch meal, Mary Jo Copeland gives a sermonette and a prayer over the meal. On this day, in the midst of thanking us, she said to those in need, “[Gaughan Companies] came here and made this food for you because they love you. I love you. God loves you.” She encouraged everyone to not lose hope and to forgive those who have wronged them.
Arriving at 9 AM, the preparation team rolled up their sleeves and began rolling utensils and napkins for those partaking in meals that day. Once the breakfast crew had moved out of the cooking space to serve the first meal, our preparation team jumped in to cook the lunch meal. On the menu was tater tot hot dish, salad, fruit and cookies.
Our serving team arrived at 11 AM while the hot dish was cooking, and they also began rolling utensils. They enthusiastically filled over two large containers full of utensils. After a tour of the kitchen and a rundown of the serving team’s duties, each volunteer donned aprons and plastic gloves and were ready to give back to the community.
At noon, those there for the meal, nearly 200 people, made an orderly line in front of the serving stations to receive the food and milk. The other volunteers and I were frequently thanked and blessed by those receiving the food. Giving back to the community in a tangible way is an important mission of Gaughan Companies.
Another mission of ours is building and supporting strong communities. This process begins by helping those who don’t have the means to help themselves currently. We at Gaughan Companies hope that the meal we prepared and served was a step in the right direction for at least one of the recipients.
To learn more about Sharing and Caring Hands, visit http://www.sharingandcaringhands.org/.
If you have ever served on your HOA’s Board of Directors, you can understand the amount of time and effort that goes into preserving your neighborhood and protecting community property values. A long time House Speaker once said, “All politics is local.” With that said, what could be more local than a democracy practiced within the community you live?
Today, there are approximately 68 million Americans living in about 338,000 homeowner associations, condominiums and other planned communities. More specifically, there are about 1.5 million residents and about 7,500 associations here in Minnesota! Needless to say, the amount of volunteers needed for associations in Minnesota is about 30,000 dedicated owners.
A volunteer can be described as a person who freely offers to take part in an enterprise or undertake a task. The key to this definition is freely. For many of the volunteer board members, this is a second job that takes time from their families, evenings and/or even their weekend. Many times, if something doesn’t go as designed, fingers are first pointed at the Board of Directors, but often it can also be a lack of communication when an owner buys into a community or misinterprets the association’s governing documents. Generally, one of the great attributes of being a volunteer is reliability, so being there for owners when called upon can show a great deal of trust and commitment to your community.
A board member’s job can be full of challenges, issues and opportunities, some of which can be controversial. As a board member, the role can be both rewarding and thankless. If given the opportunity, please share a simple note of thanks to your board members. It could be at the next board meeting, annual meeting or in a simple e-mail. Chances are, as you are settling in for the evening for your favorite home remodeling show or to catch your favorite sports team in action, your board members are enduring a 60 to 90 minute board meeting, reviewing the upcoming budget, looking at additional bids, or reviewing pending architectural change applications. Most board members have a great deal of integrity as there is a big responsibility with the community’s resources, facilities and homeowner correspondence.
For more information on how to become a board member, how Gaughan Companies can help your community, or for general questions in regard to your community and/or Board of Directors, please visit us at www.gaughancompanies.com/hoa.
CAI-MN has additional resources, too.