WELCOME TO OUR FIRST NEWSLETTER, COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS!
Hello, friend! Designed for volunteers, clients and donors alike, each edition we will highlight someone who is a part of our organization, Ebenezer Stone Ministries.
Our first spotlight is Kari Tylke. Since May 2015, Kari has served as Operations Manager of Ebenezer Stone Ministries. A typical week for Kari is picking up food at different stores, recruiting volunteers to help, ordering supplies for the weekly breakfast, and working with volunteers and clients. Kari says she is “humbled by volunteers coming every week or once a month consistently. I know they will be there to help serve, share a smile, offer a hug or share God’s blessings.” Volunteers always bring new ideas – which is exactly what we need! One of the updates is a clothing and household pantry, purely based on donations. Clients pay $1.00 to shop. Another recent addition is the Book Nook. Open during Saturday breakfast, children can listen to a volunteer reading a story and take a couple of books home with them.
As a resource for the clients, she loves hearing from them. “The clients share stories of their life, heartaches and triumphs. The clients tell me honestly how they are feeling about their health, life, politics, the weather and, most importantly, how blessed they are. There is no way you can’t be inspired.”
Kari chose to get more involved as she saw the impact Ebenezer Stone Ministries has. Her first week volunteering, Kari remembers a young woman who had just escaped an abusive relationship and was trying to get to her family in northern Wisconsin. She was alone and afraid, with no where to live and no way to get to her family. Through Ebenezer, the woman was put in touch with a service that could get her home. She came in broken, but “we saw a small glimmer of hope and determination in her eyes when she left us.”
Kari recalls one Saturday morning when an older gentleman came for breakfast and asked for shoes. The shoes on his feet were too small and torn, with his toes sticking out. We helped him find a donated pair that would fit. “When he took off the old shoes it was hard not to stare at his feet. They were cut, swollen and dirty.” Thankfully, Ebenezer had just received a huge bag of donated socks. “To be able to give him three pairs of socks was like Christmas morning to him. I wish everyone who has ever donated a piece of clothing could see the joy that I felt that day. He smiled so brightly as he walked away in his new shoes. What a blessing!”
Kari remembers being taught to love others and treat everyone the same: “No one is perfect, no one is better – we are just on different journeys, some we have chosen and some that were chosen for us. But in the end, we are all from God and will return to God. Be nice to everyone because you never know if it could be Jesus.”