About Ruby Simmons

This author has not yet filled in any details.
So far Ruby Simmons has created 48 entries.

Open Your Heart is hiring a new Program Associate!

Program Associate Position

The Program Associate is responsible for assisting in the coordination of OYH grant programs and workplace giving campaigns. The position reports to the Development Director and will work closely with all three other staff members. This position is a great opportunity for anyone who would like to learn about all the aspects of running a nonprofit and wants to develop a variety of skills.

About Open Your Heart

Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless is a 32 year-old nonprofit that provides grants to community agencies throughout Minnesota that serve hungry and homeless people. Our annual budget is approximately $800,000. We have a staff of four and an active Board of Directors.
Our office is Minneapolis. Read more at www.oyh.org.


Grant Programs

  • Carry out all administrative duties for the OYH grant making program and ensure that all grant programs are running smoothly. This includes communicating with applicants, and ensuring the grant applications are processed correctly and in a timely manner.
  • Manage the grant database, web portal for applicants, and review portal for board members. We currently use the web-based program Wizehive by Zengine.
  • Support the Grant Review Committee in any administrative tasks such as pulling reports from the database and providing necessary documents for meetings.
  • Attend visits to food shelves, emergency shelters, and domestic violence shelters to gain more information on grant requests for the grant committee as needed.

Workplace Giving Campaign

  • Prepare campaign materials including agency lists, pledge processing communications, pledge examples, human interest stories, and organizational descriptions as needed for workplace giving campaigns.
  • Act as the contact person for assigned workplace giving campaigns for administrative duties or events. Make sure that workplace giving applications are completed correctly and one time, all requested campaign materials are provided, and requests for OYH representation at campaign events are filled.
  • Represent OYH at workplace giving events. This includes tabling and speaking events.


  • Develop and implement social media strategies to promote OYH.
  • Preform basic administrative tasks as needed.
  • Problem solve technology issues.

Experience and Qualifications


  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent education and experience.
  • At least 2 years of administrative experience.
  • High level of computer competency including programs such as Microsoft Office Suite and database management systems.
  • Ability to work independently.
  • Ability to efficiently and accurately work on a variety of tasks with deadlines.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills and a passion for public speaking.
  • Must have a driver’s license and a car.


  • Passion for serving hungry and homeless Minnesotans.
  • Experience in a nonprofit environment serving people in crisis.
  • Experience with workplace giving campaigns.

Position Details

Salary: $15-18 per hour depending on qualifications.

Benefits: Employer provides a contribution to health care needs and 3% match to Simple IRA plans.  10 paid holidays per year and 15 days paid time off (PTO) per year, increasing to 20 days per year after the first two years of employment.  This position currently has its own office.

Hours: This position is 32 hours per week. Hours are flexible, but must be M-T between 7:30 am and 5pm except for 1-4 evenings per month when there are board meetings or events.

Physical Demands: Frequent sitting and working at keyboard. Occasional walking, lifting approx. 20 lbs., stooping, bending, and kneeling.

Apply: Send your resume AND a cover letter (please send word documents or pdfs) to [email protected] by May 9th, 2018. Please make “Program Associate Position” the subject line. No calls please.

April Grants have been Awarded!

Thanks to generous donors and OYH board members we were able to award almost $40,000 in funds this month to Minnesota agencies in need!

Advocates for Family Peace

Advocates for Family Peace for $7,047 to update flooring for domestic violence survivors.

Akeley/Nevis Community Food Shelf for $3,653 to insulate their building.

Alexandra House, Inc for $3,353 to purchase shelving, high chairs, stackable chairs and dining room tables.

CHUM (Churches United in Ministry) for $5,260 to upgrade equipment, repair a walk-in cooler, and purchase a commercial freezer and digital floor scale.

Community Food Response for $4,000 to purchase for a commercial freezer for Community Food Response’s new location.

Garrison Area Care Givers for $7,530 to replace commercial refrigeration units and related electrical.

Mora Food Pantry for $4,750 to purchase a commercial refrigeration unit, an electrical upgrade, and shelving.

New Oil Christian Center for $4,031 to purchase new beds, a refrigerator, a freezer, blankets and sleeping bags.

December Grants have been awarded!

Thanks to generous donors and OYH board members we were able to award over $55,000 in funds this month to Minnesota agencies in need!

Simpson Housing Homeless Memorial March

Akeley Food Shelf for $5,064to purchase a new back door to offer a warmer, energy efficient, safe, and more inviting environment.

Anoka County Brotherhood Council for $3,000 to purchase an 8-12 cubic foot customer freezer in the food shelf store to expand offerings.

Brunswick United Methodist Church for $3,500 to purchase new convection ovens for the onsite kitchen that is used to prepare free community meals as part of the church’s hunger ministry.

Face to Face Health & Counseling Service, Inc. for $3,986 to purchase a new freezer at SafeZone to increase the quality and quantity of food available for hungry youth.

The Link for $10,000 to purchase street outreach program supplies that will be provided to youth experiencing homelessness during the winter months.

Loaves and Fishes for $10,000 to help purchase a dock-height box truck that will enable exponential growth of the street outreach meal program, resulting in a significant increase in the number of healthy meals served to individuals living on the streets.

Milaca Area Pantry for $6,000 to purchase 3 commercial cold storage units which will expand the existing capacity of fresh foods by 50%.

Oasis Central Minnesota for $8,400 to purchase hotel vouchers for people requiring emergency shelter in Morrison County, Minnesota, where there are currently no other services for emergency housing.

Partners for Affordable Housing for $5,336 to purchase food storage and security equipment for shelter houses.

Simpson Housing for $800 to sponsor the annual Homeless Memorial March that honors those who have died over the last year while homeless or formerly homeless in Minnesota.

October Grants Have Been Awarded!

Thanks to generous donors and OYH board members we were able to award over $40,000 in funds this month to Minnesota agencies in need!

Christian Cupboard Emergency Food Shelf (CCEFS) for $3,239 to purchase shelving to expand storage and display for improved choice and customer service.

Damiano Center for $2,500 to replace the doors on the freezer and cooler.

Evergreen Youth & Family Services for $8,220 to purchase commercial grade kitchen storage (Freezer & Refrigerator) and industrial sized laundry equipment for the Evergreen Youth Crisis Shelter.

Lymon ‘DeDe’ Losh Homeless Shelter, Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, for $6,809 to purchase two commercial washers, commercial dryers, a stove, and a vent.

Neighbors, Inc. for $325 to purchase a refrigerator for the Neighbors, Inc. lobby area.

People Incorporated for $9,931 to purchase supplies for Street Outreach.

Sojourner Project Inc. for $2,000 to purchase a new commercial dishwasher for the shelter kitchen that serves women and children that are homeless due to domestic violence.

The Open Door for $3,800 to purchase freezers for our Apple Valley Mobile Distribution site and for our Eagan pantry location.

Women’s Advocates for $6,230 to purchase a linoleum replacement for residential floors and the lobby at Women’s Advocates’ shelter.

August grants have been awarded!

Thanks to generous donors and OYH board members we were able to award over $60,000 in funds this month to Minnesota agencies in need!

Anna Marie’s Alliance for $1,786 to purchase a washer and dryer for Anna Marie’s Shelter.

Church of the Incarnation (Food Shelf) for $4,500 to purchase equipment necessary to keep the food shelf up to code with the City of Minneapolis.

HOPE 4 Youth for $2,000 to purchase new kitchen tables and chairs and a tabletop griddle for the drop-in center and supplies for outreach.

Red Lake Homeless Shelter for $ 10,271 to purchase two new stacked washer/dryers and a new under cover dishwasher.

Servants of Shelter of Koochiching County for $5,760 to purchase guest supplies such as laundry detergent, bedding, bus tokens etc.

Small Sums – At Home Group for $7,650 to purchase 180 rush hour monthly bus passes for our Twin Cities homeless clients who have just found jobs.

The Bridge for Youth for $7,195 to purchase replacement furniture and mattresses for homeless youth emergency shelter.

The Salvation Army for $6,890 to purchase 10 sturdy bunk beds and 20 durable mattresses to be used at the Harbor Light Center.

The Sheridan Story for $7,000 to purchase racking for the warehouse to help decrease costs.

Wright County Community Action for $6,990 to purchase HVAC and concrete work for the WCCA Food Shelf.

June Grants have been awarded!

Churches United for the Homeless – former client volunteers in the kitchen.

Hunger and Homeless

Thanks to generous donors and OYH board members we were able to award over $60,000 in funds this month to Minnesota agencies in need!

A Place For You for $10,000 to repair building and bring it up to code and handicap accessibility.

Churches United for the Homeless for $9,448 to install and replace security locks on front door and dormitories.

Community Emergency Service for $3000 to purchase a cooler.

Duluth Vineyard Church–Fruit of the Vine Food Shelf for $1,454 to purchase an additional commercial freezer.

Hunger Solutions Minnesota for $5,000 to fund sponsorship recognitions for the 2017 Food Access Summit.

Northome Community Food Shelf for $3,750 to purchase a freezer and a refrigerator for the new location.

Pearl Crisis Center for $4,232 to provide emergency hotel vouchers for victims of domestic violence and their children.

PROP Food Shelf for $4,663 to purchase a freezer for the pantry.

Saint Paul Public Schools/Project REACH for $4,300 to purchase adult size cots to use for emergency shelter located in Saint Paul Public Schools.

Steele County Food Shelf for $3,723 to purchase a Double Duty Refrigerated Deli Display Case.

The Salvation Army Minneapolis Central Worship and Service Center for $3,300 to purchase a single-door freezer for the food shelf.

Women’s Shelter, Inc. for $8,950 to purchase and install security technology in the shelter.



Thanks to our generous donors we were able to provide an emergency fund for the homeless students at the following organizations.

Ascension Place, Inc.
Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative
Bluff Country Family Resources
Cornerstone Advocacy Service
Dakota Woodlands
EMERGE Community Development
Evergreen Youth & Family Services, Inc
Freshwater Education District Alternative Learning Center
Harvest Network of Schools (HNS)
HOPE Coalition
Intermediate District 287
ISD 709
Life House
Minneapolis Public Schools
Minnesota Internship Center
Charter High School
Safe Haven Shelter for Battered Women
Sojourner Project
St. Paul Public Schools
The Bridge for Youth
Women of Nations

Open Your Heart this Mother’s Day!


Tonight, 15,000 Minnesotans are homeless. For women, domestic violence is the number one cause of homelessness. While Mother’s Day is an opportunity to thank that special woman or women, in your life, it is also a chance to honor the women who are overcoming major adversities and are determined to carve out a meaningful life for themselves and their families. This Mother’s Day, honor a mother in your life by doing what they do every day: making the world a better place.

For 31 years, Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless has focused solely on ensuring that the poorest and most vulnerable Minnesotans have the most basic of needs: Food. Shelter. Safety. From inner city shelters to rural domestic violence centers; suburban food shelves to Indian Reservations; Open Your Heart helps.

“The new security system increases both safety and the feeling of security, which is invaluable to women who come through our doors looking to make a better life for themselves and their children.”
– Ruth’s House of Hope

Over the years we have spent millions – nearly all donations from fellow Minnesotans – in every corner of the state, wherever the need is the greatest. We ensure that Minnesotans who, for whatever reason, are hungry, homeless or unsafe, have adequate supportive shelter, nourishing food, and a safe place to rebuild their lives.

This Mother’s Day, please consider making a contribution in honor of a mother in your life and help us carry out our important mission. When you shower moms with love on May 14th, also honor the women struggling throughout Minnesota and help provide the most basic of needs to the poorest and most vulnerable members of our community. In difficult and uncertain times, those in need, more than ever, depend on caring and compassionate people like you.

Donate here.

Download a printable insert you can send to a mother in your life here: Mother’s Day Card Open Your Heart Printable

Or download an image version that you can send by email here: Mother’s Day Card Open Your Heart Image (Right click on the image and ‘Save image as…” to download.)


Ed Murphy
Executive Director
[email protected]

April Grants have been awarded!

Thanks to OYH board members and generous donors we were able to award over $60,000 in funds this month to Minnesota agencies in need!

Avenues for Homeless Youth for $4,100.00 to purchase an institutional cooler for the Minneapolis Avenues shelter.

Bridgepointe Community Church Food Pantry for $2,500.00 to purchase 3 freezers, one cooler and 2 refrigerators 1 microwave, which will store more fresh produce in our foodpantry/soup kitchen .

Care and Share of Crookston, Inc. for $13,768.00 to purchase seam-sealed mattresses for all our beds.

Cass Lake Area Food Shelf for $2,750.00 to purchase a 50 cu ft glass front refrigerator, used to store fresh food choices.


Merrick Community Services

HOPE Coalition for $2,159.00 to purchase two washing machines at our Haven of Hope domestic violence shelter, to replace one that has “died”, and another that is “dying.”

Life House, Inc. for $4,350.00 to purchase a washer/dryer and residential freezer for “The Loft” transitional shelter; a stackable washer/dryer and commercial freezer for the Drop-In Youth Center.

Merrick Community Services for $4,790.00 to provide capacity building funds for Merrick Community Services’ new location to purchase storage equipment.

Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless for $5,000.00 to support for the Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless (MCH) 2017 Statewide Annual Conference on September 26 and 27 in Brainerd, Minnesota.

Pillager Area Food Shelf for $5,100.00 to increase service space and delivery. Funding to purchase commercial freezer and cooler.

Stepping Stone Emergency Housing for $6,703.00 to purchase commercial refrigerator and freezer.

Vineyard Community Services for $8,000.00 to purchase a new-used forklift to replace current forklift.

Willmar Area Food Shelf for $4,200.00 to purchase 1 commercial solid door self contained freezer with castors.

Grantee letter: Asian Women United of Minnesota (AWUM)

Thank you donors! More women and families will find comfort tonight because of you.

“I am happy to report that15896380_945378215494429_2564857688816398138_o-01 Asian Women
United of Minnesota (AWUM) has completed the use of the generous grant of $7,500 awarded by OYH. As proposed, AWUM staff purchased 24 new bed frames and mattresses for House of Peace Shelter…

Providing new beds to women and children coming to the House of Peace has been such a delight. The old beds were originals from when the shelter opened in 2001 and had suffered major wear and tear…We have gotten great feedback on the comfort of the new beds people are sleeping better and feeling honored that they are able to use brand new (for now!) furniture.

AWUM was pleased to share the news of OYH’s generous grant with our friends and donors. Upon hearing about the new beds, a couple of individual donors asked if they could provide brand new linens for the shelter. We were happy to accept the offer, and now have new sheet sets for each mattress…

It is wonderful to be able to show a woman her room with clean, new bedding. We thank OYH for helping us provide better amenities to women and families who are coming to House of Peace to find relief from harm and fear.” –Asian Women United of Minnesota (AWUM)

We are looking for a new Development Director!

Development Director

The Development Director is responsible for leading all fund development activities. The Development Director is a key member of the OYH team, reports to the Executive Director and works closely with staff and the Board of Directors.

Organizational Informationnow-hiring

Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless is a 30-year-old nonprofit providing grants and other support to community agencies throughout Minnesota that serve hungry and homeless people. Our annual budget is approximately $1,000,000.  We have a staff of four and an active and engaged Board of Directors. Our office is in the Loring Park community of Minneapolis.


  • Establish development goals, strategies, and outcomes
  • Work with Executive Director and Board in developing annual marketing plan
  • Develop and implement strategies to enhance OYH marketing and branding
  • Identify prospective partners and strategies to reach them
  • Develop and nurture relationships with corporate marketing staff
  • Develop sponsorship and partnership opportunities
  • Engage in event planning and management
  • Staff liaison to OYH Fund Development Committee
  • Explore advertising opportunities
  • Develop and implement social media marketing strategies
  • Manage and develop donor database
  • Maximize database effectiveness
  • Develop and implement strategies to expand individual donor base
  • Network with corporate, family, and institutional foundations
  • Develop OYH speaking engagements and group presentations

Experience and Qualifications

Bachelor’s degree. Minimum of three years of professional experience working as development/marketing director in a nonprofit environment required. Proven ability to develop and engage donors. Proficiency in donor database management. Passion for mission of serving hungry and homeless Minnesotans. Event planning and management experience. Excellent communication skills and ability to articulate orally and in print, the mission and services of OYH.  Must exhibit creativity and the ability to work independently. Knowledge of social media and marketing strategies.  Team player with ability to work collaboratively with diverse people.

Position Details

Salary: $50’s DOQ. Position is 32-36 hours per week. Occasional evenings. Paid holidays. Generous Vacation/Sick (PTO). Employer contribution to HSA and 401B.

Please send resume and cover letter by 2/01/17 to [email protected]  Subject: Development. No calls please.


“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.”

— Minneapolis Public Schools