Reflections on Hands Across Duluth:
We did a lot of stuff like visited the Clayton Jackson McGhie Memorial. I thought it was sad that they made a postcard out of it because they were wrongly accused and killed. I think it is important that everyone knows this happened so history won’t repeat itself. We also volunteered at Loaves and Fishes. I helped dig up some tree stumps so they could make a little garden. I also helped make some meals for the people at Loaves and Fishes. I learned that there is a lot more people in Duluth that need our help then I thought there was. Submitted by Atle R.
I'm going to start off by saying this was my second year at Hands Across Duluth. Now going into Hands Across Duluth I was sure I knew the "meaning" of homelessness. Well boy, was I wrong. The first day day we took a tour of some of the places around Duluth that people who are experiencing homelessness can go to and get services. And one thing really stuck out to me was at the CHUM shelter and drop in center. We walked into the men's shelter and the first thing some of my friends noticed was numbers taped over each cot/bed. Now when my friends pointed this out to me 2 things popped into my head. 1. I don't have a number over my head at night 2. Why do these people?
When people think of homelessness they first think of not having enough money for necessities or not having a roof over their head. But after I saw those numbers my first thought was of "Not feeling worth more than just a number"
Matthew 10:29-31  Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.  And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.  So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. I think everyone can learn from these 3 verses. Whether you're homeless or live in a HUGE home you are worth so much in GOD'S eyes...No matter who you are or what you do God will forever love you. It's not the material happiness that makes us feel whole. It's knowing that people love us. Thank you to all who supported us at HAD! Submitted by Luisa V.
The people who live at the Steve O'Neil apartments have smaller homes than I do. I learned about homelessness and how CHUM offers housing and Loaves and Fishes too. It made me happy to work hard all week at the Bike Cave. Submitted by Nick B.
Hands across Duluth was all about helping others who don't have things like we do. We made meals for Steve O'Neil apartments and froze the meals, then on Wednesday for lunch we brought over pulled pork sandwiches and walking tacos. We also weeded the round about and we took apart bikes at the bike cave. We also sorted and cleaned a basement that is going to be a donation center for people who don't have homes. So in there will be tents, gloves, hats, scarves, socks, blankets and mattresses. We also made vegetarian meals like bean burritos and vegetarian lasagna, we also had lots of fun hanging out at free time with friends. Plus doing fun activates like paddle boarding, rowing, swimming in canal park with lake superior's giant waves, and going to fizzy waters and dewit -sitz plus the Chinese fire drill. We prayed before we went to bed and before we ate breakfast, lunch, or dinner. All in all it was super fun helping out in the community and getting to know people. Submitted by J H.
My experience at hands across Duluth I think was a great one. When I got there I set up my sleeping area and waited for the other churches to arrive. When they got there we drove to chum to learn how people who can't afford enough food for themselves come. We learned that they have so many points to use to get food items. We then proceeded to Life House a organization that provides a place for homeless teens to go to when they have no where else. They provide the essentials for them like showers and housing. After going through Life House we went to the Clayton Memorial. It talked about the 3 men who were lynched. It was sad to hear that people would do that. And even more sad that 1 in 10 Duluth citizens can track their family back to that lynching. We then walked to the Chum Drop in Center. We saw where people might sleep if they don't have any where else for the night. That night when we were doing reflection I thought about all those people without a place to stay or don't have enough money to buy food for themselves. Over the next 2 days we did lots of yard work and cooking for the people of Loves and Fishes. We did so much work that some of the houses started running out of projects for us to do! We also did fun water activities like paddle boarding and jumping through big waves. I think this has brought me closer to people at my church and the others that came to help us do it. I feel really good about help for helping the less fortunate and had a great time doing it. Submitted by Nick M.
The Hands Across Duluth experience was very exciting to me. It was fun because we got to meet new people from different cities in Minnesota. We also learned how to row together down at the Duluth Rowing Club. I learned a lot from the experience like where the homeless sleep. We worked at the Loaves and Fishes houses and the Steve O’Neil apartments. Thanks to Manny and Mrs. Van Oss for a great time. Submitted by Jack F.
Hands across Duluth was an amazing experience. We helped out at the Bike Cave, The Olive Branch and the Hannah House. But we could not do all this service in 4 ½ days without the help of 2 churches from the Twin Cities, Ascension from Stillwater, and Christ Church from Woodbury.
My favorite service project that we did was weeding the roundabout. We weeded the roundabout in about 3 hours. It was fun because we got to get dirty, but it was hard to carry all the garbage bags that held the weeds because the sticks in the bags would poke through and scratch your legs. But after all it was really fun weeding the roundabout.
My favorite activity that we did at night was paddle boarding. I like paddle boarding because you got to play a game where you jump in the water when you are done. I also liked it because we were able to go outside the boundaries to bring the boards back. I love paddle boarding so much, I want to do it again. At hands across Duluth this year it was really fun and I can’t wait to do it again next year. Submitted by Hannah G.
Manny ' s speech really stood out to me. He had such a tough childhood, yet he has worked his way up through the ranks to become a fierce advocate for those who are less fortunate than himself. It was very inspiring to hear his story, and it reminded me that despite my age, there are still a great many things I can do to enrich my community. Submitted by Sam A.