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John Paul Engel

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THE GOSPEL MISSION
December 10, 2009

The Sioux City Gospel Mission offers its hand out to groups in need across our entire community. I am active in several nonprofit organizations including Junior Achievement, Sioux City Marathon, Local Community Centers and the Gospel Mission and its staff is always willing to lend resources to further the mission of other organizations. I am particularly impressed by Vernon Meyer of the Gospel Mission for all the programs he has put in place and for his personal mentoring of the homeless. He is truely an inspiration. This last fall we were able to make a huge impact for the children of our community by giving away backpacks with school supplies to over 4,000 students. Many of these students wouldn't have been able to afford the proper supplies to start school. We were able to insure that they all started school on an equal footing with their peers. Let me share with you a quick story. Toward the end of the day we gave away the back packs a young man came up to me and said "I've been walking all day to get here. I am an Iraqi veteran. My mother died and now I have nothing. Can you help me." I helped him get enrolled so he could spend the night and get a drink of water and he was out there helping us unload the trucks. The one of the other men started to mentor him and encourage him to think of using the GI bill to get an education. A month later I stopped by the Mission to pick up some resources for JA that Vernon was loaning us for the day. I was greated with a big smile by the young man. He had started to work at the Mission and had secured another job as well. He had a plan to go out on his own in the next month. This is just one story. The Sioux City Gospel Mission is changing lives and giving people, including our veterans, the leg up they need to get back into being productive members of our society. They are doing God's work and I applaud them for their commitment. I am a better man for being involved with their efforts.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

how they are changing the lives of children and people who are homeless

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

give them more resources to expand their work.

More feedback

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the friendship I have developed with their staff particularly Vernon Meyer whose leadership inspires me to do more for others.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

kind, intelligent, thoughtful, and truely lived the life Christ showed us.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

create a program that would be a model for the entire nation in bringing the homeless back into the work force. They are already doing this with their partnership with Western Iowa Tech to bring education opportunities to the homeless.

Ways to make it better...

I could have had more time to help them.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

apathy on the part of many people in the community who don't see the need to help others.

One thing I'd also say is that...

I've volunteered with organizations in New York City, DC, Chicago, London, Tokyo, and I have never seen one as effective at helping the poor. They are already a model organization in my view.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

MY ROLE:
Volunteer & Recruited and led teams of volunteers for a back pack giveaway.