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Mary Ann's Blog


Fruit of the Spirit

December 10, 2020 |

Galatians 5:22 - But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness.

Frank has been a long-time supporter of Home Sweet Home Ministries and he recently went to his heavenly reward.  His widow suggested that family and friends could honor Frank's memory through gifts to Home Sweet Home Ministries.  She told me why she selected Home Sweet Home Ministries for this honor.  When Frank's mother was elderly and had dementia, she would wander around downtown Bloomington and would often end up at Home Sweet Home.  The staff treated her with kindness and would frequently give her an orange.  Frank was grateful for the kindness that was shown to his mother and became a regular contributor to Home Sweet Home Ministries.  The practice of sharing kindness and food with people who stop by continues today through our daily sack lunch distribution program.  Sometimes the lunches even include an orange!



Be Thankful

November 2, 2020 |

Be thankful. - Colossians 3:15

Another Thanksgiving season is here.  Here at Home Sweet Home Ministries, we count our blessings and give thanks, just as we have for the past 103 years.  This Thanksgiving will look different from last year's holiday, and both will look different from that first Thanksgiving at Home Sweet Home Ministries, in 1917.  Regardless of the year, season, or circumstances, we give thanks for all who support our mission to demonstrate Christ's love through innovative approaches that instill hope, restore lives, and build community.


We Love Our Volunteers!

June 23, 2020 |

1 Peter 4:10 – Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.

We are busy conducting training for our faithful volunteers, to prepare them to resume their volunteer roles in our kitchen.  It is wonderful to see their eager and smiling faces again.  We have missed them so much.  In addition to the valuable work they perform, they are an inspiration to residents and employees alike.  God has created HSHM to be a grace-filled place where all of us can use our gifts to serve others.  Praise God!


New Life

April 12, 2020 |

Romans 6:9 – We were therefore buried with him through baptism unto death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

The Good News of the resurrection is not just an annual Easter event.  We can experience new life every day!  Alleluia!  During this pandemic it is easy to think of all the things that are buried or missing from our lives, but each day God has new truths to reveal to us.  The natural world and the people around us are abundant with reminders of new life.  A former shelter resident recently posted a note of gratitude on Facebook.  He had received a gift of a handmade quilt while he was at HSHM.  He wrote: “It has warmed me when I had little heat, comforted me when I was afraid, connected me to my roots, and given me so much hope.”  I pray for your hearts to be open to the new life that God has ready for you, each and every day.


Well done, good and faithful servant!

March 10, 2020 |

Proverbs 13:22 – The good leave an inheritance to their children’s children.

Home Sweet Home Ministries’ donation recordkeeping system goes back to 1988.  We have many friends whose donation records go back that far and probably extend to an earlier point in time.  One such friend made 349 donations to HSHM over the past 31 years, in amounts ranging from $15 to $1,000 and totaling over $38,000.  With rare exception, he made a gift every month.  He was very conscientious about increasing his monthly gift amount as he was able and notifying us of any address changes.  This dear friend recently passed away and his family suggested gifts to HSHM to honor his memory.  Home Sweet Home Ministries would not exist without generous people like him.  I praise God for his life and example.


Give Thanks

November 22, 2019 |

1 Chronicles 16:34 – Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.

This verse is repeated several times throughout scripture.  It has been repeated many times in my own prayers over my lifetime.  We have so many reasons to give thanks at HSHM.  God has given us holy work to do, to share Christ’s love with those around us.  God has provided willing hands and spirits to do this work.   It is humbling to think of the thousands of people who have contributed food, funds, and volunteer time towards our Thanksgiving observance.  Just as our “Jesus Cares” sign serves as a beacon in the dark November night, I pray that all of us will be beacons, sharing the light of Christ with all we encounter.  Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!


Turning strangers into friends

November 8, 2019 |

3 John 1:5 - Dear friend, when you extend hospitality to Christian brothers and sisters, even when they are strangers, you make the faith visible.  

There is a saying, "Strangers are friends you haven't met yet."  At Home Sweet Home Ministries, our employees and volunteers have opportunities to turn strangers into friends every day.  Our mission statement states that we will "demonstrate Christ's love."  Our interactions with strangers is a perfect opportunity to do just that.  Every day dozens of people call or come into our shelter with a variety of requests.  Every day hundreds of people drop off donations and shop at Mission Mart.  Every day hundreds of donors contribute to Home Sweet Home Ministries, making our work possible.  Every day we interact with vendors, contractors, and volunteers.  I am grateful for all the ways in which our employees and volunteers make faith visible, demonstrate Christ's love, and turn strangers into friends.


Cheerful Giving

October 2, 2019 |

Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.  - 2 Corinthians 9:7

At Home Sweet Home Ministries, we are in the midst of our BIG GIVE campaign.  This year 20 churches and ministries have joined together to collect food items that will be distributed to their local neighbors just prior to to Thanksgiving, to ensure that they have everything they need for a heartwarming Thanksgiving celebration.

I often say that every day is Thanksgiving Day at Home Sweet Home Ministries.  We were founded on Thanksgiving Day in 1917 and have been giving thanks for our generous community support and the opportunity to minister to our neighbors ever since.  

You can join in the Thanksgiving celebration by participating in our BIG GIVE efforts.  Details are at:


Thank God for wisdom!

July 26, 2019 |

Proverbs 3:13 - Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding.

Seven of our former board members recently gathered at Home Sweet Home to share their experiences on the board and to learn about Home Sweet Home's current programs and needs.  These experienced leaders clearly were recognized for their wisdom when they served on our board and they continue to offer valuable insights today.  I thank God for the gift of wisdom!


May Community Challenge

May 7, 2019 |

May Community Challenge

Every May our generous supporters are encouraged to "take the challenge" to match donations that have already been pledged to Home Sweet Home Ministries.  Here are examples of the impact that your donation makes:

$10 secures fresh meals for one person for one day.

$20 supplies one homeless family with health and hygiene items for one week.

$35 provides one night of safe and secure shelter for a homeless veteran.

$50 provides three case management sessions for a shelter resident.

$100 shelters a mother and three children for one night.

What will your impact be?

Be joyful in HOPE, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayerRomans 12:12