JESUS WOULD LOVE FIRST

Author: Written by Carol Seifert, Twelve Baskets Member
September 15, 2019

 

In June, members of the Twelve Baskets Ministry  took an “Urban Plunge” and visited some of the agencies that receive donations from our baby shower drive. We were in awe of what we discovered at one location—the Tandem crisis pregnancy center—and decided that we needed to share these discoveries with the parish.


Tandem is a crisis pregnancy center located at 4105 Chicago Avenue South in Minneapolis. Kim Rynders, the executive director, says that each woman who enters their doors has a unique and often difficult story. Unless she is reminded, Kim says that she forgets that she too has a story. Several decades ago, she too was young, pregnant, and abandoned by her family. She fortunately found a safe loving place that nurtured her and introduced her to God’s abundant love. Little did she know then that her experience would prompt her years later to create “a soft place for women in crisis pregnancies to land.”


The name Tandem was purposely chosen to describe what happens when a pregnant woman chooses to participate in their programs. She is invited to work along with the staff to reach a mutually agreed upon goal. She also becomes part of the larger community of “mamas and littles” at Tandem. She no longer is alone. They will walk the journey together.


Kim and her staff believe in the mantra “Jesus would love first.” They use that to help them build relationships with the mothers and surround them with love. The staff understands that they cannot “fix” the problems that often consume these women’s lives. To do that would be a victory for the staff and not for the mother. They realize that generational poverty is at the root of many of the issues. They do know that there is much that they can do to assist each mama so that she can achieve her own victory. After a woman completes an assessment, they assist her in writing a Life Plan. They provide her with access to a social worker, a therapist, and a life coach. Their goal is to help her learn healthier ways of “doing life” and interacting with the world. They offer classes on life skills, vocational planning, and parenting. They refer to places like The Jeremiah Program to help her pursue higher education. They  help address basic problems like food and housing insecurity, and for a few they can offer safe housing at Tandem House. They provide ways to interact and network with other mamas and their littles. They provide an opportunity to earn all needed baby supplies from the Tandem Boutique. They encourage her to visit their Infant and Children’s Thrift Shop four times a year at no cost. They celebrate each mama when she completes her Life Plan. Tandem believes that by supporting one mama and one little at a time, that they can break the cycle of poverty and offer hope for a better future.


Tandem’s operational budget is comprised of money from a grant, fundraisers, and donations. They also generate monthly income from apartments they created out of vacant space in their building. Soon they will be opening an upscale thrift store which will employ some of the mamas and also generate additional income to fund the program. The budget, diapers, and supplies are never far from Kim’s mind or her prayers. The staff at Tandem is extremely thankful to Pax Christi and other churches who supply them with wonderful baby clothing and diapers.


That said, Tandem has an ongoing need for diapers, clothing, and equipment for their children’s thrift store and for their soon-to-be upscale thrift store, Moxieattandem.org. If you find that you have diapers, clothing, equipment, or items that your little ones have outgrown for the upscale thrift store, they would love to receive your donations. Donations are accepted Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 9:00am to 3:00pm at their location on Chicago Avenue.  If you have questions, you can reach them at:  612-823-0301.



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Pax Christi Catholic Community

12100 Pioneer Trail
Eden Prairie, MN 55347

952-941-3150

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