Union Gospel Mission

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.  Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.   Galatians 6:9-10

Overwhelmed by the sheer amount of stuff that accumulates I want to throw the excess away.  But this time, I was stopped by that strong feeling that said, “someone needs your stuff.”  I was moving my Mom for the 4th time in several years, each time dividing up and making decisions.  Who wants what?  Kids are moving someday…will they need her blender, the ice cream scoop, the paintings Grandpa C. did of the horses, the seagulls?

My small group from church had done a service project downtown St. Paul at the Naomi Family Center a couple of years ago.  Women & their kids live here for a year to 18 months and are educated and taught life skills to help them get jobs.   I remember waiting for the elevator and looking at the photos of men who had abused the women.  Photos of faces to recognize and run away from.  Women came and went with their kids, signing in and out at the secure front desk.  I don’t know how many families can live in this old hotel while being educated, learning about God through Bible Study, being coached on how to interview and get a job.  For a time they are here to get back on their feet, and their kids are taken into the day care.

Downstairs at Naomi there is a room of woman’s and children’s clothing and shoes. We went downtown to sort clothing, to organize and to separate out winter from summer clothes.

When I went through my Mom’s clothes, I knew these women could use her dresses, purses, coats and shoes.  They would be appreciated and used.


The UGM website is: http://www.ugmtc.org/.  Check the burgundy bar on the upper left and click donate, for hours & info. The drop off site is called Central Service and is located at 435 University Avenue East. In this group of red brick buildings you’ll also see the Men’s Program building, the Bethel Hotel and the Christ Recovery Center.  Spaces are reserved right at the door for donors to park and unload.

I appreciated walking into the Service Center and hearing KTIS radio, our local Christian radio here in the Twin Cities.  The gentleman who helped me was kind and thankful for Moms stuff.  He weighed the clothing, purses and shoes and gave me a signed receipt.  At the counter was a simple postcard with a list of items they would accept for next time.  I left with a heartfelt blessing from this gentleman, and a song in my heart knowing that things my Mom no longer needed in nursing care would be well used by my family in Christ.  Simple.  Local.  Missions.


{images: Laurie Ashbach}

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