Open Arms of Minnesota

In honor of my 7-year anniversary

Leah's 7th anniversary letter
Photo: Erik Westra

Dear Friends of Open Arms,

Yesterday, I celebrated my 7th anniversary at Open Arms of Minnesota by doing what our incredible volunteers do with love every single day: delivering medically tailored meals directly to one of our clients.

I decided on Wednesday morning to drive to St. Paul to deliver to Kathy, a longtime client of ours living with Multiple Sclerosis. Kathy graciously invited me to her home to share this special moment. After the delivery, I stood on her porch and visited with her about how she was feeling.

Anytime I get to visit with a client, I’m reminded just how special our work is at Open Arms. Together, we are providing more than just healthy meals to people struggling with life-threatening illnesses — we are standing on the porches of our neighbors letting them know that we care. With your support and assistance, we deliver this message of hope thousands of times every month to our clients and their families.

Yesterday, I thought about everything we have done together in the last seven years. Open Arms has doubled in size, we have tripled the amount of annual volunteers, opened our arms wider to include more qualifying life-threatening illnesses, added new volunteer opportunities (including those for kids and families), and most recently, we have started broadening our geographic reach outside of the Metro area to help more Minnesotans with our meals.  When I started in 2013, we were delivering to about 650 clients per week. This week, our client numbers exceeded 1,400 for the first time.

I am so proud of these achievements, but I am even prouder to be part of this community with you. I want you to know how much we appreciate the volunteer hours and financial support you share with us, to help ensure that healthy meals and messages of hope and care make their way to our clients. It’s YOU who are the heart and soul of Open Arms.

It has been an honor and a privilege serving as Executive Director for the last seven years. I continue to stand in awe of your passion for our work, your love and care for our clients, and the generosity you show us. Because of you, our hearts are full and our clients are well nourished. Thank you so much for making all this possible!

With 7-years of love and gratitude,

Leah Hebert Welles
      Chief Executive Officer

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