$1 for $1 match for Bike Cave and Dorthy Day House renovations!


December 18, 2017

Dear friends,

For more than 28 years, Loaves and Fishes has been a refuge for those in need – from war victims to women fleeing violence to families and men experiencing homelessness. What we’ve accomplished together is nothing short of a miracle, given that we rely entirely on volunteers and almost entirely on small donations that just cover our monthly expenses. With a lot of faith and with your help we continue to welcome the many hundreds of people who walk through our doors every year.

Loaves and Fishes has grown slowly but steadily to include four houses, two generous garden plots and a bike shop. Proper stewardship of this land and old houses requires more thoughtfulness and care as each year passes.

This is why the community, with help of long-term friends, has formed an organization with the sole purpose of maintaining the houses and properties. Loaves and Fishes Housing, Inc, is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization with a board comprised of live-in volunteers and longtime supporters of Loaves and Fishes. We are writing to you to announce this change and ask for your support.

The decision by the IRS to grant tax exempt status to Loaves and Fishes Housing, Inc is timely. We are embarking on major, needed repairs to Dorothy Day House – the house that started it all back in 1989. The house serves 10 overnight guests and increasing numbers of people who drop in for showers, meals and laundry. The basement is home to the Bike Cave, which has grown from a humble in-house workshop a decade ago, to a Twin Ports institution that assists hundreds of people every summer with no-cost bicycles and bicycle repairs. To meet increased demand and to provide a safe environment for everyone, we desperately need to upgrade the basement. We have already replaced the old boiler and begun demolition. When completed, the renewed basement will include a bathroom, improved and expanded laundry space, storage lockers for people living outside, a new stairwell to redirect traffic away from the busy kitchen area upstairs, efficient windows, a concrete slab floor, and expanded Bike Cave work space.

We expect the entire project to cost $25,000. This is a large expense but necessary given the age of the house and the numbers of people who utilize it.

Over the years you have been generous in your support of Loaves and Fishes. Some of you have told us that you could be more generous if Loaves and Fishes had tax exempt status. That time is now. Nothing substantial has changed about the work of Loaves and Fishes, except for growing need. It remains volunteer-run and its houses operate under the principle that all people deserve dignity and a roof over their heads.

Your year end donation to Loaves and Fishes Housing, Inc is tax deductible and will help provide and maintain space for Loaves and Fishes volunteers to continue to make room at the inn and provide wheels to some grateful and happy children and grownups. On top of this, every donation will be matched, dollar for dollar, by an anonymous donor.

We request that tax-deductible donations to Loaves and Fishes Housing Inc be at the $100 level or greater for ease of book keeping. Smaller donations can also continue to be made to Loaves and Fishes Community for the many other needs of the community and its guests. Donations can be sent to 1705 Jefferson Street, Duluth, MN 55812.

The Christmas season reminds us that real change begins at the margins, through acts of bravery and love shown to fellow human beings. As the national political landscape degrades into selfishness, the needs of our city and region will only grow. We have a duty to respond. Thank you in advance for your donation and commitment to help keep Loaves and Fishes houses a refuge and a source of hope and joy for the community for many years to come.

With best wishes for a warm and healthy holiday season and new year,

Joel Kilgour co-chair

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