Open Your Heart Testimonials

Minneapolis Public Schools

“Youth who are homeless benefit greatly from skill building & enhancement activities with others. It is vitally important for them to build their resilience by experiencing fun in learning and doing constructive activities with others, belonging to a group.”

“Thanks to Open Your Heart funds, school social workers distribute resources to youth who are homeless and highly mobile; this helps to connect the youth to helpful adults and directly helps the youth to feel part regular crowd at their high schools, which is critical for students at this age. “

“Open Your Heart funds are a means for students to connect and bond with other students and staff in their schools, because they are not left out of activities that bring their classmates together. “

“We would not be able to provide the assistance and support for the students to have these group experiences and supplies. There are no other sources of funds to meet the graduation celebration needs nor for the emergency clothing, shoes and toiletries needed by the youth. “

“Items such as gym shoes, school uniforms, and school supplies helped the children get a fresh start in school during the transition from shelter to transitional housing. Due to the very limited incomes of the parents in the program, money for school pictures, graduation fees, drivers ed fees, gym uniforms and other school needs is too often not available. Many families in our program were able to order needed birth certificates for their school age children. The Open Your Heart Education Fund offered the children in our program a more level playing field with their peers.”

Simpson Housing

“We would not have been able to offer school pictures, school uniforms, gym clothes and uniforms, graduation fees, school activity fees, along with many other opportunities this Open Your Heart grant provided.”

“We only hope that this money continues to be available for the children in our program and other similar programs. “

Red Wing Area Coalition for Transitional Housing

“Without your help, we would have so many kids going to school unprepared. Not only would they be going without the supplies but their self esteem is lowered because they don’t fit in with the majority of the rest of the class. Being abused is hard. One of the things we pride ourselves on is getting kids in school and helping them be prepared. School is a safe place to them and to give them the safety plus supply them with everything necessary to succeed helps them feel good about the work they do plus builds them up inside so they can have dreams and hopes of bettering their lives. Their faces beam with happiness when they complete a project or homework assignment. For some of them, it is the first time doing this…and they feel proud.”

“We are very grateful to have all of the help we get from you.”

Bridge for Runaway Youth

“We would not have been able to provide required supplies without OYH funding.”

Central Minnesota Task Force on Battered Women

Without this grant “We would not offer school supplies to the children staying at the shelter as our budget would not permit us to purchase supplies.”

Youthlink

“A grant from Open Your Heart provides unrestricted support to provide direct client assistance for youth involved in our education program. Assistance ranged from purchasing schools supplies to assistance for collage entrance exams, GED test fees, and bus passes for transportation to and from school.”

Womens Advocates, Inc.

“It was very helpful to be able to download the application in Word format and complete the form directly without having to re-type everything.”

“Open Your Heart has provided the children we serve with school supplies, backpacks, gym shoes, and winter wear. Most of the children we serve arrive to the shelter with the clothes on their backs. Open Your Heart has made sure that stability and education is a priority and we thank you for that.”

Tell us how your program would have provided these services had the Open Your Heart Education Fund not been available. “Unfortunately, we would not have been able to assure each child was provided with the items that Open Your Heart makes possible.”

“I believe Open Your Heart is preparing each child for school with ensuring they are dressed properly and prepared to begin each school day, without their peers being aware of the crisis their family is in.”

Catholic Charities of Saint Paul & Minneapolis

“The Open Your Heart Education Fund helped children/youth to obtain educational goals by supplying parents with the necessary means to those goals. Beginning with the necessities to enroll in school (birth certificates/identification and/or medical records) to purchasing required uniform clothing or buying a new school outfit for the first week of attendance to minimize the impact of being the “new kid” or newly homeless to attending an after-school activity that enhances a child’s learning.”

“The Open Your Heart Education Fund helped greatly to give children, who live in poverty, the necessary means to live their ‘school lives’ as normal as possible while in a homeless-to-housing transition.”

“We would not offer the means for parents to purchase uniforms, school shoes/sneakers, or pay for after-school activities; as well as deplete other scarce resources for them to obtain birth certificates and medical records”.

Elim Transitional Housing

“Children were able to have the same “new’ school supplies as their classmates. An effort was made to involve them in the selection of the school supplies whenever possible. They were able to participate in sports and music lessons and have their school pictures taken just like everyone else.”

Without this funding “We would have tried to find resources for the most extreme needs, but many needs would not have been met”

Scott-Carver-Dakota CAP

”This type of assistance is essential for children living in precarious housing conditions to be able to participate in school activities, both academic and extra-curricular. Some examples included a prom dress for a high school senior, birth certificates for two children, drivers education classes, activity fees, and clothing and shoes for several children. This is in addition to traditional school supplies.”

“Thank you for all that you do for families. We appreciate our partnership with Open Your Heart.”