We as Minnesotans know all too well that winter can feel neverending (especially this year!). Penny called Bridges of Hope (BoH) because she was out of wood and her wood burning stove was her primary source of heat. Typically her supply would have lasted the winter, but not this year. Jess in our office quickly learned Penny lived slightly outside of BoH’s service area (Crow Wing County and the school districts of Pillager, Pine River, and Aitkin). Jess offered to do an intake anyway in hopes of being able to problem solve with Penny.
During the intake process, Jess learned Penny had just lost her husband unexpectedly. Penny’s husband had taken care of all the finances for 40 years. This left her feeling overwhelmed with financial burdens in addition to the traumatic experience of losing a loved one. Jess began reaching out to agencies in Penny’s county and none of them were able to assist with her situation. It seems Penny lived in a “black hole” of sorts when it came to resources. Jess reached out to a member of the Common Goods team who lived in the same area as Penny. She helpfully suggested a call to the local sawmills in the area.
Jess called and spoke with Jenna at the sawmill who felt empathetic toward Penny’s situation as well. Jenna had a conversation with her employer to see what they could do. She called back shortly after and let Jess know they could donate part of the wood delivery to Penny, but could not take care of the whole bill. In this case, it only made sense for Bridges to make an exception and help Penny. After all, she barely lived outside of the service area and there were no other resources to be found. We utilized our Spirit of Kindness Fund for just $150 and partnered with the sawmill to be sure Penny could stay warm the rest of this long winter. Thanks to our area with churches donating to our Spirit of Kindness Fund, we were able to show this small kindness to Penny during a very difficult time.