As we close out on 2022, this message is one of gratitude. On behalf of myself and all of the OIM team:
We thank Rev. Ken MacLaren for his 19 years of service as Executive Director of OIM that concluded near year-end. Under his leadership, OIM's programs have grown to include street outreach, drop-in programs, veteran outreach, youth arts and music programming and youth work skills internships. His focus on a strength-based approach in the delivery of these programs has been ground-breaking in terms of fulfilling OIM's mandate to come alongside our most vulnerable. Under his stewardship, OIM now has a permanent home from which to offer our services. Thank you!
We thank our volunteers for their dedication and commitment to OIM in all the ways needed to reach and serve our Friends. There are nightly walks to connect with people where they are; there are connections from our building twice a week; there are those offering relationship and support during our Veteran and Youth program activities; others report in daily to sort, organize and manage the multiplicity of items arriving regularly. Some prepare, deliver, or serve sandwiches or full meals, some help with mailings and other administrative functions. Some make phone calls; some shop; some repair broken things. Our volunteer Board members donate their expertise to keeping OIM on mission. Thank you!
We thank our donors, whether they provide us with resources or with financial support or both. We closed out 2022 with precisely the finances needed to offer an ever-increasing number of our Friends the essentials we commit to providing. Last week, my heart burst with joy over what seemed the never-ending chime of our doorbell. Every day, throughout the day, we welcomed people dropping off gifts of money or resources - food, clothing, toiletries, backpacks, sleeping bags, little and big Christmas packages and cards of encouragement to deliver to our Friends. Thank you!
We salute our prayer warriors who take the time daily to lift up our Street Friends. Our volunteers share about the many miracles they have witnessed as a result. Thank you!
Finally, and most importantly, we thank our Good, Good Father for the many ways He blesses everyone involved with OIM's mission. At the end of the day, it is by His grace that we are able to come alongside people experiencing poverty and homelessness, demonstrate the message of Christ in deed and word, show compassion, build self esteem and empower.
We are about to welcome in a new year, some among us with fireworks, noisemakers, toasts, a chorus or two of Auld Lang Syne and hugs all around. For others of us, it may be a more quiet time of reflection. However we celebrate, let all of us give thanks for the good that has been and the good we pray will be in 2023. Happy New Year!
~Margo, Managing Director