OUR COMMUNITY STORIES
My goal when I first started OHM was simply to help myself, to get on my feet. I realized I needed some help to do so, but asking for help is one of my greatest weaknesses. I don't ask for help. I'm an introvert, so it took a lot of courage to reach out.
I've been on my own since I was twelve and got used to doing things on my own. I feel as though this is one of my greatest obstacles, trusting others and asking for help. But something told me to reach out to Open Hand Ministries. And you guys were amazing! Even though I put the work in, you helped me along the way. It's not like a hand-out, you just helped me, took me in with open arms and gave me guidance.
Two things I recognized I needed to do to help me get on my feet were to get my driver's license and get a place of my own. OHM helped me to do both. While I got up every morning dedicated to getting it done, OHM created the platform to accomplish these goals.
My next goal is to get a job where I can make ends meet while I'm in school. I am currently taking classes to become a registered nurse.
Ultimately I want to give back to the community, help people who need help without judging them. I am asking Open Hand Ministries to continue to be patient with me and continue to work with me to get out of my comfort zone so that I can continue to trust others and ask for help where and when I need it.
APRIL JOI’S MILESTONE
My goal when I first started with Open Hand Ministries was to start my own business, a cleaning company.
The biggest obstacle was my lack of financial literacy, relating to both my personal finances and business finances. Through OHM I met ally Chrissy Brennan who is a certified accountant. She, along with the OHM curriculum, helped me strengthen my financial literacy. She provided me invaluable financial advice. She helped me to set up my financial books, helped me manage my books, helped me set up business bank accounts, helped me separate my business finances from my personal finances. OHM and Chrissy helped me develop the financial literacy and put the financial tools in place necessary for me to succeed, long-term, at running a business. My OHM community was also instrumental in me expanding my clientele. Through my OHM community I was referred on the Highland Park list serve as well as to numerous individual clients. I realized that I had achieved my goal and had started a business when I had more work than workers!
When you live in poverty for a long enough time, you sometimes feel like, this is it.
The support I received from my OHM community, and the steps I have taken have shown me that I can do more, have more, and BE more.
My next goal is to secure certifications that will enable me to land larger contracts. I am beginning the process of securing an MBE (Minority Owned Business) and WBE (Woman Owned Business) certifications. I am asking my OHM community to support me in this endeavor through regular encouragement and accountability, and assistance in securing additional training in issues critical to my ongoing success, i.e. effective job bidding.
Through the help of Open Hand Ministries, Laura turned her passion into a business!
NQ (never quit) Bike Ride takes individuals through the Allegheny passage no matter their age, ability, or financial means.
Laura started hosting these trips and after 3 years she was able to turn it into a business which took their inaugural tour this past summer! Laura attributes her success to hard work, determination, and all the support she was provided through her circle and the community. Laura's Open Hand Ministry Allies not only helped her with the strategy and financial side of the business but also through encouragement.
Laura says, "I have seen a lot of businesses that did not go well because they didn't have that extra support. If it wasn't for my allies I don't think I could have done it. I can't do it by myself. You have to be able to ask for help!"
Next up Laura is looking to recruit for the upcoming tours and sustain the business. Her goal is to have 1-2 trips per month during the summer. If you are interested in being apart of a bike trip though NQ Bike Ride reach out to us and we will get you connected!