Helping hands by Dickinson's House of MannaDiana McCulloch and Sid Deichert waited patiently outside Dickinson’s House of Manna until the doors opened Wednesday afternoon.
By: Linda Sailer, The Dickinson Press
Diana McCulloch and Sid Deichert waited patiently outside Dickinson’s House of Manna until the doors opened Wednesday afternoon.
Deickert was looking for a bunk bed for her 9-year-old grandson.
McCulloch and her son, Corbinn, 5, moved to western North Dakota in November seeking employment.
“I got lucky — I’m working in the oil fields,” she said. “We live in Stanton — we used to live here in Dickinson, but the rent was too high.”
She needed several household items and curtains for her son’s room.
They were successful in finding what they needed, while Corbinn was treated to several new toys.
“We’re there to help people in need,” manager Nan Rapp said. “Our clients are people in need, young families or people who have moved here from out of state. They come with their in-laws. They leave everything behind and come with what fits in their vehicle.”
House of Manna is celebrating its 20th anniversary with a board of directors. It is a Christian, non-denominational, non-profit charitable organization.
It was started by Jean Stull, who collected two car-loads of donated clothing and delivered them to a family who had experienced a fire in 1989.
Her vision of helping others grew from her garage to a cold storage unit, church basement, downtown location and at 1100 East Villard. The directors have included Gary Jordan and Rhonda Hecker.
The purpose remains the same — to help people in emergency situations, such fire, loss of a job or more recently, people looking for employment in the Oil Patch.
Rapp is meeting people who don’t have places to live.
“Yesterday, somebody asked for help to pay their rent at a mobile home, but we don’t give out money,” she said.
Donated items such as clothing, household items and furniture are distributed free, but donations are accepted, Rapp said.
House of Manna is extending its hours to meet the needs of people who are working. During the summer months, it will be open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the second Saturday of the month. These hours supplement regular times from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
The donations come and go like a revolving door.
“When a box spring and mattress or pots and pans come in, they go out the same day,” Rapp said.
Employees in the Oil Patch are looking for work clothes, especially jeans.
“We are going through more clothes than when we first started,” Rapp said. “Mainly men’s; — oh my gosh, men’s t-shirts and jeans. We never have enough of them.”
Rapp wants donations of clean clothing because there is no way to wash there.
“It’s the same with the furniture — we want things that are not ripped or dirty. If you don’t want it, somebody else isn’t going to want it either,” she said.
House of Manna keeps track of the clients for the United Way, which supports the ministry.
“Some days, we’ve had 80-some people register the first hour,” she said.
An estimated 30 volunteers sort and display the merchandise.
Joan Murphy started volunteering six months ago because she saw the need.
“I feel very accomplished when I help out here,” she said. “It’s a great cause and people should volunteer.”
Volunteer Sue Kopp started volunteering 2 1/2 years ago.
“You do anything that needs to be done,” she said.
Volunteer Howard Gordon fills the shelves and helps load larger items.
“Monday mornings are the busiest with all the garage sale leftovers,” he said.
Items of questionable value are packed into bags for Charlene and Bud Faller to pick up.
They cut off the buttons, give cotton clothing to area quilting clubs, prepare rag bags and burn the rest. Nothing goes into the landfill, Rapp said.
The biggest problem for volunteers are the items that are left after hours. Donations are accepted from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Despite the signs, people persist in leaving appliances, which must be hauled to the bailer building, she said.
For more information, call 701-483-5733.