Working at the Food Shelf Changed my Life – part 1

As other writers and artists know, it’s hard to tell your story in one fell swoop…or even two.  Unless a person has chosen to write a comprehensive autobiography, or has a highly organized thought process, it doesn’t usually happen.

So it is with my creative story.  Reflecting back on the past few years, I can say with confidence that I wouldn’t be blogging and sharing my art today if I hadn’t worked at our local food shelf.

From January, 2011 through September, 2013, I served as a board member for the Bemidji Community Food Shelf, BCFS.  This organization is a collaborative effort of several area churches to help the needy in our area.  Each participating church appoints a contact person, who then has a seat on the board.  Board members communicate information, help schedule workers and assist with various projects.

In June of 2012, I attended the monthly board meeting…business as usual.  I had been making art for about 18 months, and was getting antsy to do more.  At this meeting, the food shelf coordinator mentioned that the United Way was creating a non-profit “village” for the county fair, and for a $50 fee, the food shelf could submit a canvas to publicize itself.  He stated that he thought it would be nice if a board member could do it, but if not, he would ask an artist friend.

My heart was beating 100 miles per hour!  I wanted to say “yes, I’ll do it!” but I wondered internally if I was ready for such a project.  As a person of faith, I said a silent prayer and asked God to direct me.  As I sat and prayed, the meeting continued.  I don’t remember what was talked about next, but when it came time for someone to make a motion to approve something, the lady sitting next to me nudged my arm and said “Be Brave!”

“Be Brave!”…this dear woman had no idea that God spoke through her to answer my prayer that day.  With knees knocking and voice quivering, I talked to the coordinator at the end of the meeting and told him I would do the project.  (I later shared with Lorraine the significance of what she said at that meeting!)


My original sketch for this project

I found out while doing the project that the United Way was going to put the lettering on each canvas, so I had to change the presentation a bit.


Finished canvas – remember I was still technically a beginner!

At this same time, BCFS was preparing to relocate to a larger facility.  The coordinator asked if I would make a “Future Home of….” sign, so they wouldn’t have to pay for a sign that would only be in place for a short amount of time.  It was easy to say “yes”.  No prayers required!


4’x6′ – It was fun to work on a larger board, and I got to choose the colors and layout, utilizing the Food Shelf’s logo.

Here ends part 1 of my food shelf experience!  I can hardly wait to share part 2!

Thanks for visiting my blog and have a great day,









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