Shine with Purpose in Granite Bay: In Giving We Recieve
In July of 2019, Mindy Mohlenbrok shared a mere vision of Shine with Purpose with a friend. “I wanted a place where kids could come and know what it felt like to serve and learn their true purpose, [where they could] learn independence and have the opportunity to serve with their families,” she says. Fast forward to January 2020 and this vision was realized when Shine with Purpose in Granite Bay officially attained nonprofit status.
Mohlenbrok had been saddened by the fact that children were so busy with school, sports, and other activities that they didn’t really get the opportunity to learn the true gift of giving back. “We live in a society where many are chasing money and possessions and not learning about purposeful lives,” she laments. To counter this imbalance, Shine with Purpose aims to empower and inspire families to serve and support community projects and other local nonprofits. “[We’re the] conduit connecting the community and its needs,” she says.
Mohlenbrok gleaned from research that children and teens who serve are less depressed and more successful in their studies and careers. “They learn that money and possessions cannot provide happiness...they feel true happiness by contributing to something that matters to them and their community,” she says. “I pray that [my children’s] generation is the ‘serve and be purposeful’ generation.”
Prior to COVID-19, she had no inkling of what would be in store for them. Initially, they provided over 100 backpacks and school supplies to Sacramento Children’s Receiving Home, books and toys to Shriners Hospitals for Children, and visited Country Day Home in Granite Bay with miniature therapy ponies and “thinking of you” cards. When the pandemic hit, though, things took on another dimension. “We reached out to many nonprofits knowing that the senior population they relied on for volunteer help might not be so available now,” she says. They have since filled the void and provided over 3,500 meals to various local shelters and centers, as well as households in need. They’ve also partnered with leadership classes in schools and conduct an ongoing “Friday sandwich-making and card-creating day” where they serve over 100 subs to disadvantaged youth. When they’re not out in the field, volunteers are assembling care packages, crafting cards, making meals, and brainstorming.
COVID-19 proved to be a big hurdle—one the organization has had to work around. “It has forced us to transition away from youth gatherings and prepare meals from our own homes. In addition, we haven’t been able to have any large fundraising events in the way we’d expected.” Despite this, they eventually plan on getting state-wide recognition and are looking to partner with as many leadership programs as possible, hoping to continue down the path of connecting youth with growth and development.
Members aren’t restricted to only youth, either, says Mohlenbrok. “We have multiple generations serving together and inspiring each other.” Volunteers are needed, as are donations, and just simple word-of-mouth. “Each and every one of us can shine by giving back through life-changing experiences,” she says. “Let’s shine together!”
BY Tara Mendanha
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