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From a Life Coaching Client............

Dear Margaret, 

My Dear Friend - thank you for your help and guidance.  Seeing God at work in my life helps me to love others better and move forward beyond my desires.  

Love to you. 

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Discovery Retreat Testimonials

I want to thank you so much for yesterday's retreat.   I left with a feeling of walking on air and with the loving arms of God around me.   You made that happen.  It was such a wonderful afternoon.  

Margaret - you are one of the most gracious hostesses I have ever met.  You have a way of making people feel at home.   

Sue - you open my heart to the love of God and make me know and feel how much he loves all of us.  I loved the stories of these women in our group.  Sorrow and suffering is never very far from us is it ?   Again, thank you both for bringing us so close to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  You are such a blessing to us all.  

 

Love and blessings and prayers,

Joyce 

 

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We were asked to comment on the recent Discovery Retreat and the symbol of Spring we bought and gold our story about: 

 

First of all the group setting, sharing of scripture, our individual stories and the time just to journal or think of what was talked about was such a wonderful experience for me.  The meal was so good and the time we shared together at lunch made us more than friends - but sisters in Christ.  

 

My Spring symbol was a gift from my brother Bob who lives in Milwaukee.  Its a wonderful hand carving on wood of a cardinal in a tree with flowers surrounding it.  I love it for the hours he took to make it for me and the bonding of love between us.  

 

I am certainly looking forward to the next retreat.   I will need my halo shined up by that time again.........   lol

 

June

 

 

Life Coaching and Financial Freedom help

 

I would like to share my experience with working with Margaret: 
 
I was going through a difficult time in life and sharing a 2 bedroom condo with my parents and my 2 children when I met Margaret.
I shared my goals and desires to pay off some debt in order to be able to buy a house. She listened to my story with great care and concern and was 
willing to have me and my family spend time living in the Mary House in Little Canada until I was able to get back on my feet financially.
 
Margaret and Dwight were very kind and caring and offered a financial freedom course with their help. They met with me weekly to monitor progress
and set goals. They are both exceptional people with strong Chrisitan beliefs and a loving heart to help others.  I beleive anyone who has the experience 
and need to work with the Ganjes will feel blessed and see good positve changes come your way.
 
God bless and Take care.

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Personal Testimony from Adult Faith Formation Director

Margaret and Dwight Ganje are members of St. John's parish in Little Canada MN. They are warm and genuine people who have a desire to share their God given gifts in service to those who are in need.

Dwight took on leading a Financial Freedom workshop for the parish, bringing to it his caring heart, open demeanor and outstanding leadership skills. This practical program is not only instructive but is also spiritually nourishing for participants. The Ganje's desire to reach out and serve others is truly a gift to the community of St. John and to the broader community of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

Mary McDonald
Former Faith Formation Director at St. John's Catholic Church in Little Canada, Mn

 

Mentoring partnership with Cradle of Hope keeps young woman moving forward

Melanie thought she had ruined her life forever.

The 19 year old sat quietly during the interview with

her pregnancy counselor answering all the questions politely. 

 

She was tired and scared.  An unrelenting, severe illness had

forced her to leave her job as a restaurant hostess. 

Her doctor has insisted. Without an income, she was facing eviction. 

She had already applied for residency at Maryhouse, where

a mentor could assist her in making plans for her future,

But she had not yet been accepted.  If the rent on her

existing apartment wasn’t paid, she would be homeless. 

 

Because of your support, Cradle of Hope was able to grant $500

to keep Melanie in her apartment until she could move into Maryhouse.

Since then, Melanie has completed a CNA degree and

has secured two jobs.  She is now a mentor and speaker

guiding other women through crisis. 

 

Your help provided a mantle of protection

for Melanie and her unborn baby, preventing homelessness

and preparing the way for life. 

 

From responses to our Spring, 2017 Newsletter

Dear Margaret and Dwight 

What a beautiful and well written piece!!   Life is so amazing and you are a primary example of this.  Thank you for sharing this with me.   I will share it with our staff and executive board.  Sometimes we need to have a reminder of the work we do here and who it is really for.   Blessings to everyone.

Respectfully,

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Hi Margaret;

Thank you for the wonderful Spring newsletter.  I love reading them and hearing about all the good work that you and Dwight do.  Please keep me in mind as projects come up.  As you know, I am a busy working single parent, but although my job feeds my little family, it does not feed my soul!!  I appreciate what you and Dwight have built and the importance of the service you provide.  I'm not sure of the whenm where or how, but I will find a way to contribute. 

Blessings,

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Dear Margaret and Dwight,

Thank you for including me on this newsletter.   Your dedication to the work, your healthy attitudes, and your synergetic relationship with the community - the way you value the reality of growing together - is inspiring to me.  

Thanks,

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From the Women's Life Care Center of Little Canada, Mn 

Dear Margaret

We have just completed our first 12 months of our Well Life Program in December, 2016.   Thank You for being a valued member of our committee and for teaching and hosting two fantastic classes at Annie's Place.  Your contributions helped to make the program a success.  We hope to have you involved in future programs.   

Below are some quotes from women who came to the Cooking Class and Spa Day: 

"I enjoyed the products and she is by far the sweetest woman ever.  Margaret has a way about her that makes you want to get to know her and you can tell she cares about people and their well being".   

"I liked the different kinds of recipes and the yummy food we ate was divine".  

 

Sincerely, 

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From a donor who visited our most recent open house

Dear Margaret and Dwight, 

It is amazing what you have built together.   What a wonderful contribution you are to the women and children who walk through the doors at Annie's Place.  Truly, they are placed as are all of us who are here to celebrate with you.  May you continue this work and flourish in doing do.  

With Love, 

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What it is like to be homeless – at age 55….. (Former Resident at Annie's Place)

In 2008, I went from earning $19.68 per hour to earning $6.85.  Since then I have had nothing but ‘temp’ jobs and/or low paying retail positions.  While waiting on an unemployment hearing in 2011, I lost my apartment of three years with an eviction which started my downfall into homelessness.  By the way, my rent was 15 days late when I was evicted.  I have spent the last year off and on living in my car, most recently spending September through the end of December living in my car.  During this time I had three temp jobs and sometimes slept in their lots after I got off work.   Luckily, I had a health club to shower at so I could keep up appearances of having a normal life. 

After freezing in my car for the coldest part of this winter, I had given up.  I was ready to die and asked God to just not let me wake up or to help me as I could not go on any longer.  I had tried to find help through job counselor Tracy at HIRED and on my own.  When you live in the suburbs, there is just not any help for homelessness there.  After 4  months of living in my car, the police finally kicked me out of a church parking lot where I would park most nights.  I thought the church would not care… not so.  I was not wanted there.  I had no choice but to go to my own church and accept the embarrassment of asking for help.  They would not allow me in their lot either (I thought it was because I was a disgrace to West Bloomington and the church).  They told me I was a liability.  They did put me up in a hotel for two weeks and then told me to get a job at McDonalds and go to a shelter downtown St Paul – I think it was maybe the one that the Star Tribune did the article on (dated 1/16/13).   I knew I could not live in a shelter as that would not in any way help me to start over.  Shelters are temporary fixes for a bigger problem in my mind (lack of affordable housing).  I don’t drink: I have no criminal record, no addictions, nothing.  I’m just unemployed.  I would not have fit in at a shelter.  I did not want to have my car broken into or not have a secure place to park at night. 

Forward to January, 2013 and my HIRED job counselor called me and told me to go see Joseph at St Stephens Outreach in downtown Mpls.  I went on Tuesday and by Thursday Joseph told me he had found a possible home.   I went and met with Margaret who runs Annie’s Place in Roseville and she agreed to let me move in immediately.  This is out of the norm as there is a process to follow to get into a program like Annie’s.  I had simply wanted a place to park my car without the police harassing me and I finally have a real, warm home.  I still need to find a job in order to keep my car and to pay my household bills.  I have hope for a New Year and faith in God that he will always help me in time of desperate need. 

PS – The worst day ever was this past Christmas Day.  After church, I sat in the Laundromat for 10 hours because it was the only place open.  Christmas dinner was a coke and a candy bar.  

                         Testimonials

Below are testimonials from former guests at Annie's Place and from others who have benefited from the services of our ministry

 

From responses to our Spring, 2018 Newsletter

Dear Margaret and Dwight,   I have such respect and admiration for the work you do.and the commitment you make helping others in difficult journeys.  Thank you for keeping us in the loop.  Lydia's letter brings me to tears.  What an amazing story.  Its one thing to hear and read about the depression stories and another to read about someone who you know.  Beautiful.  And what a beautiful woman she was.  No wonder you're such a devoted and caring person Dwight.   Tom and I will make a contribution.  Thanks for being in our lives and enriching our lives.  Love you both very much. 

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Absolutely lovely.  The whole thing.  You two inspire me. 

My dad is getting close to the end I think.  Who knows - he's 89.  Doctor's still giving options for his stage 4 prostate cancer.   My sister just got breast cancer - age 57.  Mom has parkinson's.  Holding on for the ride.  Keeping my eye on Jesus.....  Lydia's letter was very timely and beautiful.  I think I will forward to my siblings.  I love reading your updates.  Easter peace to you both.    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX 

 

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