Archives For 2013 Protégés

The Sheridan Story

Brian —  April 12, 2013

Mission: To fight child hunger through community and school partnerships.

The Sheridan Story fights child hunger by providing hungry children with a supply of non-perishable food for the weekend. Instead of The Sheridan Story simply dropping off food at a school, which results in little relationship, we enable and facilitate the development of partnerships between churches and schools.

Over 212,000 children in Minnesota live in food insecurity; over 100,000 of those are in the Twin Cities. Studies have indicated that children who participate in programs that provide a weekend food supply experience increased self-esteem, improved behavior at school, better academic performance, significant improvement in standardized test scores, increased interest in school, and better relationships with school personnel.

The Sheridan Story’s role begins with facilitating partnerships between churches and the schools. After the partnership is formed, our role intentionally moves into the background. There, The Sheridan Story manages the operations of the food portion of the project. The Sheridan Story’s operational role allows churches to focus on partnering with the school to distribute food to the children while also developing an intentional relationship with the school. In addition to our goal of providing food to hungry children, The Sheridan Story endeavors to build church-to-school partnerships that will result in a stronger sense of community, opening doors to other opportunities for the churches to serve their partner schools.

UPDATE

Since it’s inception (and its involvement with Innové) The Sheridan Story has grown from one school, Sheridan School, to forming 25 church-to-school partnerships. Every Friday, these partnerships provide food for the weekend to about 1700 children who live in food insecurity.

Click HERE to learn more about The Sheridan Story or to donate to their mission to fight child hunger.

Twin Cities Mobile Market

Brian —  April 12, 2013

Mission: To strengthen low-income communities by increasing access to healthy food.

The Twin Cities Mobile Market endeavors to solve the problem of food deserts, which are low-income urban areas where people do not have access to affordable, healthy food because they live in neighborhoods without a grocery store. Instead, these areas are overrun with convenience stores and fast food restaurants that sell highly processed junk food. For those without a car or limited transportation, getting to a grocery store to buy food is a huge challenge. As a result, many resort to feeding their families off the “value menu” or whatever they can find at the gas station.

Research shows that socio-economic factors such as where a person lives impacts a person’s health even more than the healthcare they receive. In the Twin Cities, people living in poverty are more than twice as likely to be obese and to have diabetes. To compound the issue, many low-income people live in food deserts where they don’t have access to food that promotes health. The two largest food deserts in the Twin Cities are North Minneapolis and the East Side of St. Paul where approximately half of residents are poor.

We will achieve this mission by launching the Twin Cities Mobile Market – a nonprofit grocery store on wheels that brings fresh fruits, vegetables, and other healthy foods to “food deserts” and other underserved communities. Our goal is to provide healthy and fresh food at or below market prices in order to make it more affordable for those with limited incomes.

We will use a a city bus that we will convert into a mini-grocery store stocked with vegetables, fruits, dairy items, frozen meats, canned goods, rice, beans, and other basic staples. People shop in the mobile market like they would in a grocery store. Customers can pay using a variety of payment options, including credit, cash, food stamps and WIC.

We are passionate about this project, in part, because we both grew up in poverty and experienced food insecurity during our childhoods. Unfortunately, the problem continues to grow: the gap between the “haves” and the “have-nots” is widening. We seek to bring reconciliation between these groups. Driven by our Christian values, we seek to address the social injustice of food deserts by demonstrating love to our brothers and sisters who are less fortunate by acting in service through the Twin Cities Mobile Market. The Bible calls us to love one another – and we believe we can fulfill this call by recognizing the needs of those around us and acting to address social inequities.

Our strategy is to partner with organizations, local farmers, and other suppliers to purchase food at wholesale prices. As a social enterprise, we’ll maintain pricing high enough to cover basic operational costs but lower than those of a bricks and mortar grocery store. As a result, we plan to offer food at prices at or below market rates, making healthy food both accessible and affordable for people living in poverty.

 

MATTOO

Brian —  April 12, 2013

Mission: Significantly reduce sex-trafficking by educating males about its myths and realities.

Human trafficking is the 2nd largest criminal market in the world with an estimate of 27 million enslaved globally. The average age of entry into prostitution in the US and other developed countries is 13 years old. For developing countries the average age is 11.

While 80% to 90% of all human trafficking is sex trafficking and while this growth is primarily from the demand of men and boys, there has never been a more important time than now for an organization with MATTOO’s educational mission to exist and grow. To our and many others’ knowledge, MATTOO is the first organization to focus on this “demand side,” and will shortly have the first education program – that has been designed primarily by men for men and boys.

Bringing it closer to home and according to the FBI, Minneapolis is ranked 13 among US metro areas that have the highest level of human trafficking. This is from having 2 interstate highways, an international airport, an international port city (Duluth), a neighboring country and Indian reservations, where desperate poverty creates desperate circumstances.

MATTOO has a simple but profound saying:

“If there were no buyer, there would be no seller. If there were no seller, there would be no victim.”

MATTOO has seen tremendous success in transforming all types of men into champion’s of our message, and we are confident that God will continue to guide and equip us to make a powerful and lasting impact that leads to a decrease in sex-trafficking globally.

MATTOO was founded to address the “demand” side of sex trafficking by educating males on the myths and realities of sex trafficking. Our experience has shown one of the best ways to achieve our mission is to leverage events, conferences, public schools, prisons and other groups by empowering them with quality materials to educate their audiences.

Beyond Limits

Brian —  April 12, 2013

Mission: Independent living in a Christian college setting for young adults with disabilities.

Beyond Limits, a collaborative partnership venture based at Bethany College, will offer a two year residential post-secondary Christian campus experience and a Beyond Limits life skills certificate for qualified young adults with developmental disabilities. The program includes a customized selection of audited Bethany classes, independent living skills courses, and on-campus job placement and coaching to gain work skills in Bethany’s student work-study program.

The Students:
A selection process for students will be developed to ensure the success of the students and Beyond Limits. Applicants will be screened for appropriate social interaction and evaluated to help determine an ability to live semi-independently in a college setting.

The Strategy:
The challenges and obstacles associated with building such a program are varied and complicated. We will employ skilled, caring and daring individuals to help create, implement and monitor Beyond Limits. Initially, mini residential experiences will be offered to assess challenges, evaluate possibilities and develop strategies. A target date of September 2014 is set for the first full semester.

Housing:
Housing will be secured at Bethany’s on-campus apartments and dorms. Beyond Limits students will live together along with requited, trained and compensated Bethany Students who will help to ensure the success and safety of Beyond Limits students.

Typical Day:
Programming will include all aspects of a campus life typical for Bethany College students.
– Three to four hours a day of campus jobs will help students gain work skills. All Bethany students participate in this work-study program.
– One or two audited classes selected from Bethany’s current offerings based on student’s interests and abilities.
– One or two life skills classes designed specifically for the needs of Beyond Limits students.
– Three meals a day on the Bethany meal plan and inclusion at all Bethany College activities including chapel services, field trips, and college events.

The staff will consist of:
• Executive Director (develop, implement and lead programatic ministry to achieve outcomes)
• Administrator/Case Manager (support operational functions; guide students and parents in developing a personalized program that allows participants to succeed)
• Associate staff to include these part time and volunteer positions:
– Residential support (Bethany students, interns and staff to guide, monitor, assist, and help trouble shoot for Beyond Limits students).
– Instructors (Current Bethany professors and volunteer life skills instructors. Will direct students in and out of classroom learning environments).
– Campus pastor (Volunteer position. Will help students deepen their relationship with Jesus).

 

UPDATE

Beyond Limits recently had a successful launch of their first class of 5 students. Website: Beyond Limits College

Exodus Lending

Brian —  April 12, 2013

Mission: Providing trapped payday borrowers a just pathway to financial stability.

Exodus Lending is a unique program tackling the issue of predatory payday lending by providing its clients freedom through refinancing, education through relationship, and stability through savings.

For more information, visit http://www.exoduslending.org/