Open Arms of Minnesota

A difficult letter to read

Dear friends,

As the year draws to a close and our 30th birthday winds down, I want to take a moment to share the letter below with you from Alan, a caregiver for one of our late clients.

Alan’s letter brought me to tears and was a clear reminder of what a profound gift it is to be part of our clients’ lives. As a caregiver, he tells a personal story of what Open Arms’ meals, delivered with love, mean in the lives of the people we serve.

By supporting Open Arms this holiday season, you make stories like this one possible:

Dear Open Arms,

Every aspect of your work made a difference in our 31-month, 9-day, 4-hour and 8-minute battle against cancer. You came into our lives a year ago. We picked up meals for our loved one and two caregivers.

We give much credit to our nutrition for the fact that our loved one did not die of cancer, but of natural causes, and that we had stamina to care for him at home to the end. You helped us ‘win.’ You made the battle bearable.

Your flexibility and kindness made our weekly pickup easy. In the beginning it was the highlight of our loved one’s week to go for that ride and wait in the car while his son ran in to get the meals and bring a snack and coffee to him. There is no way we could have afforded or had the time to purchase and prepare the variety of fresh, nutritious food you provided. You gave us hours of quality time together that otherwise would have been spent grocery shopping, cooking and washing dishes.

We each had our favorites among the variety of menu items. I enjoyed learning about new flavor and ingredient combinations that soothed our nervous and medicated digestive systems. We saved the food items with ginger, cinnamon, turmeric, molasses and creamy soups for meals when we were not feeling well.

My forever memory is feeding my friend his last meal. I named several items we had in the freezer and he chose the summer vegetable soup. I warmed it and picked out the noodles and soft centers of the squash for him. After finishing it he whispered that a piece of lemon pie would taste good. That was odd, as in our twenty years together, he never asked for lemon pie. I went to the fridge and perused our choices. I asked him if ginger pear bread would be OK and he said ‘Yes.’ He ate two bites with a sip of coffee and smiled. Please let the kitchen staff know of the pleasure they provided us that last afternoon.

I wish we had not had to take this journey, but I am thankful you were there to help us along the way.

For my friend…please share this letter.

– “Alan,” Caregiver

You can be there for families like this one in their time of need. When you support Open Arms, you give families in our community more time to spend together in their most important hours.
Please consider making a generous contribution today to bring hope to clients and caregivers like Alan. A generous gift of $60 will provide a client with a whole week’s worth of meals during this holiday season. Your donation of $20 can sponsor four nourishing meals for a client.


Your help in any amount will make the holidays, and every day, better for our clients. Together, we are a part of each client’s story, whether we help provide the strength they need to fight their illness or bring a sweet smile to their face in their final hours.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you for being on this journey with us.

Wishing you the very best,

Leah Hébert Welles
Executive Director

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