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The Story of Annie's Place

In 2004, Anne and Deacon Bob Bisciglia, the founders of Maryhouse in Little Canada invited us into the work of a House of Hospitality. 

We were both attracted to work with the poor.   We were especially inspired by Dorothy Day's question "What do Christians do during the week after attending Church on Sunday?"    How do we live out our faith?  Good question for both of us.....     Matthew 25 is the foundation of the Catholic Worker philosophy: The Works of Mercy.   The picture of the chair symbolizes what we are called to be in the world beyond our own self interest.  To Bear Witness to our beliefs and values as a Catholic living the Christian life.          

In 2009, we personally had an opportunity to expand and create a House of Hospitality in Roseville, affectionately called Annie's Place.  Annie's Place was to be an experiment.  Are we called by God to do this ?    Within the Catholic Worker philosophy, each House of Hospitality has its own charism by responding to a need.   As Mother Teresa said, "Stay where you are.  Find your own Calcutta".  

We received our first guest in August, 2009 and started developing procedures and policies for Annie's Place as the first of our four programs. 

Working closely with MAP for Non-Profits, we applied for and received 501c3 status (Spring, 2012) as a tax exempt organization.  

Annie's Place operates as a House of Hospitality with a focus on Financial Literacy Training, Basic cooking demonstrations to cut food costs and share a meal around the table, Spiritual Retreats that build a willingness to serve, Sunday Suppers in the Catholic Worker tradition and housing for a resident volunteer who helps with the above programs. 
Background of Founders

Margaret and Dwight Ganje (Founders) have accumulated community service experience over 3 decades in a broad range of areas within the Twin Cities area.

Margaret and Dwight's strengths and expertise include:

Financial Literacy - Journey to Financial Freedom program
Affordable Housing - Habitat for Humanity
Life Coaching - Women Venture experience and Individual Life Coach.
Faith and Spirituality - Extensive Faith community networks.
Margaret was trained as a Master Level Life Coach through Learning Journeys International 2004. She has provided hundreds of hours, mentoring women in multiple programs to move forward with their life plans.

In 2009 Margaret was the recipient of the Learning Journeys International Center "Coaching Award" for significant contributions to the community which she lives and serves.

In addition to directing and managing Annie's Place and the non-profit "To Bear Witness" she was a previous board member for the Maryhouse of Little Canada and a contract employee with Women Ventures.
Dwight had a successful 27 year career at Land O'Lakes in Administration and Project Management. He is now using his accumulated experience to help maintain and support the small non-profit To Bear Witness. 

As a Co-Chair for the Family Services Advisory committee for Habitat for Humanity, Dwight helped: Set the policies/procedures for selection of applicants; Interviewed applicants who apply for homes; Participated in the selection of families for homes. 

Dwight is a Certified PMP (Project Management Professional) and has Planned and executed many I/S Software Development projects that include full tracking of : Project estimates; Actual spend and Project progress tracking.  Since 2004 he has been a Money Map Coach for Crown Financial Ministries using the Principals for Financial Freedom and was a board member for the Maryhouse of Little Canada.

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