In all we do, the people of Mount Olive live in the presence of God and strive to be the presence of God. This is as true in our South Minneapolis neighborhood as it is within the walls of our building. We expect to encounter Jesus in all we meet, wherever and whoever they are.
Mount Olive works alongside a vibrant system of neighborhood partners and seeks to build and cultivate those relationships. When a need is not being met by another organization, we often see that as place where we can build something new. In all our work, we hope to serve, either on our own or through one of our partners, all who need care.
Ways to Serve Our Neighborhood
From Community Emergency Service
CES is Mount Olive’s primary food shelf partner. Chris Nelson, CES director of development, writes:
As we grapple with the aftermath of the tragic death of George Floyd, we see that our community might be in for a few hard weeks. All the businesses and storefronts along Franklin Avenue, including Aldi and Dollar General, are boarded up. Most of the grocery stores in the Phillips Community and possibly all of South Minneapolis—including Cub Foods, Target, Seward Co-op, and many others—are boarded up to protect their businesses.
CES property is fine, but we are anticipating MUCH more need from our neighbors beginning Monday, June 1.
- Volunteers are needed to pack and distribute food. Sign-up for volunteer opportunities on the link. Contact Melanie LaPointe or Linda Velez with questions.
- Pray for peace and protection of vulnerable neighbors and local properties, so grocery stores and shops can reopen.
- Give: collect food (download a list of needs), or give to CES online.
From Powderhorn Park Neighborhood Association
Our Community Needs Us
The dust has not settled. The fallout from the senseless death of George Floyd is ongoing. People are still processing, hurting, reeling, angry, and in some cases willing to act destructively. And in the midst, we are the answer. Each of us is needed to do what feels nearly impossible. Give the best of yourself—today, in the near-term, and beyond—to help spark a wave of healing. Please consider taking as many of the following steps as you are able and willing.
1. Offer to Help
Business owners along Lake Street, and perhaps other areas of our community, can likely benefit from an extra hand. Be vigilant. Look for ways to help your neighbors and neighboring businesses. Someone will take you up on your offer.
2. Make a Donation
If your resources permit, consider donating to the Official George Floyd Memorial Fund, hosted on www.gofundme.com, or the Minnesota Freedom Fund, which is helping to coordinate bail payment for protestors.
3. Manage Your Words
Embrace your views and demonstrate respect for those whose views differ, whether slightly or wildly, from your own.
1. Offer to Volunteer
Dozens of organizations are working daily to lift up the people and places in this community. If you’re not sure where to look, reach out to Grace at firstname.lastname@example.org or offer your services on the South Minneapolis Mutual Aid spreadsheet
2. Help Raise Our Voice
Respond to one survey question about what can strengthen our community. PPNA will pen an open letter to our elected leaders summarizing our voice.
3. Email Our Elected Leaders
Put what you are feeling about this moment and our community needs in your own words, and email our representatives. If you need help finding contact info for your representatives, email email@example.com. Email Mike Freeman at firstname.lastname@example.org to demand accountability for the death of George Floyd.
1. Adopt a Community Focus
Decide if you can help strengthen livability and safety, housing justice, or equitable development. Send us an email at email@example.com, and we can work together.
2. Help Demand Answers
Send emails to our elected representatives that inquire about the true costs to have the city we deserve. Demand plain language around how the efficacy of existing departments and programs are measured.
3. Choose Not to Forget
This current moment brings pain, loss, suffering, anger, numbness, disbelief, and everything in between. And yet it is imperative that we remember this moment to fuel our steady, growing, and relentless calls for change.
From Lake Street Council
Lake Street Council is our partner and serves and advocates for the Lake Street business community, working to ensure diversity and prosperity for all businesses, small and large, in the corridor. They do this through community events, clean energy retrofit projects, strategic planning, employee recruitment, and more.
Fundraising drive: We launched WeLoveLakeStreet.com in June as a portal for receiving donations for impacted businesses. We quickly raised over $128,000 dollars. We will be sharing information soon about how we will distribute those funds. Please share the message on your own social media.
Neighborhood Ministry in a Time of COVID-19
- Your Name
- The number of children in diapers in your household
- The sizes of diapers you need
- Your home address
Are you looking for help?
Hennepin County Waypoint provides a comprehensive listing of community organizations that provide services to those needing help, sorted by the type of service provided. This website is a good place for anyone who needs assistance to start. Many of the partners Mount Olive works with in our neighborhood ministry are represented on this site.
If you are interested in getting involved in Mount Olive neighborhood programs please click on the links below to learn more about them. Then contact Jim Bargmann, coordinator of neighborhood ministry, to talk about how you could serve our neighbors.
- Bargain Box: Gather and sell new and gently used clothing for infants and children.
- Community Meals: Prepare and serve a delicious lunch two Saturdays a month.
- Diaper Depot: Offer packs of diapers at a much-reduced price.
- Our Saviour’s Meal: Prepare and serve dinner to 50 residents of Our Saviour’s Housing program.
- Sheridan Story: Prepare backpacks of food for families at Jefferson Community School and support school programming.
- Summer ACTS: Help kids ages 9 to 14 learn skills and build relationships through a supervised jobs program.
- Cold Weather Warming Site: Mount Olive is a part of the Hennepin County Cold Weather Warming Site program, proving a safe location for those on the street who need shelter when temperatures drop.
Mount Olive is open as a warming site any time the temperature drops below 10 degrees, Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. We need volunteers to welcome those seeking shelter. We also need people willing to provide snacks—cookies, rolls, coffee, and hot chocolate for our guests.
- Advocacy: Please contact Jim Bargmann, coordinator of neighborhood ministry, about opportunities to advocate on behalf of issues important to our community.