A Single Act of Kindness
Open Arms began as a single act of kindness in 1986 — Bill Rowe, our founder, cooking food in his apartment and delivering it to a handful of neighbors living with AIDS who had become too sick to cook for themselves.
Three decades later, our operation has grown into an organization with a state-of-the-art facilities in Minneapolis and St. Paul, which has allowed us to prepare and deliver millions of meals for thousands of clients and their loved ones. We have also since opened our arms wider to include more qualifying illnesses, such as cancer, MS, ALS, ESRD, CHF, COPD, and more.
Take a deeper dive into Open Arms’ history by exploring the slideshows and watching the heartwarming 30-minute documentary below.
I’ll do this forever. And it’s all because of Bill Rowe.
Casey Guptil, volunteer
In 1986, The Oprah Winfrey Show made its national debut, gas was just 89¢ a gallon, and the World Wide Web wouldn’t be invented for another three years. Most importantly, 1986 was the year when Open Arms served its first meal. Browse through the slideshows below to see all the incredible things we’ve accomplished together for over three decades.
1980s & 1990s
Open Arms: The Film
Take a deeper dive into our history with this heartwarming 30-minute look at how a community of everyday citizens created an organization that has nourished thousands of neighbors living with life-threatening illnesses.