Impact Story: Larry and Jan Bloemer

How did you get involved with Hand in Hand?

We had been to a couple of Legacy Breakfasts and were always moved by the stories. Then a friend asked us to go on a trip. It was to Nicaragua and was with several people
we knew.

How did your trip to Nicaragua alter the course of your life?

It was our first real visit into a 3 rd world country. Ed and Barbara Dunsworth, the directors, were phenomenal on walking us through the week and its many experiences. We learned so much. We saw how just a little bit of our effort could make a major difference in someone else’s life.

We also learned how being around people who wanted to help others was fun and life giving to us. And we were humbled and inspired to meet the people there and work side by side with them. That trip gave us a new perspective from which to view our lives.

What advice would you give to someone who is interested in becoming a supporter by way of a donation or an immersion trip?

Come to the breakfast and/or visit the office and listen to the stories. If you can, go on a trip and see the work that is being done by Hand in Hand.

Meeting the people and sharing their lives for a few days is an enriching and enlightening experience, one that impacts your life.

The trips pay for themselves but it also takes additional resources to keep things running, so monetary gifts are very much needed.

How do you continue to stay active with Hand in Hand?

We are very fortunate that we have been able to continue to go on trips. We sponsor a student in Nicaragua (Synder a great kid who continues to excel in school despite many challenges).

We have joined the Hand in Hand book club that has led to many enriching discussions on social justice. We continue to attend the Legacy Breakfasts and stay in touch thru the Hand in Hand newsletters.

Our church also welcomes someone from Hand in Hand to speak once a year at a weekend service to spread the word about the work that is being done and the impact on our lives.

Jan organizes the Panera bread pickup making sure someone picks up the daily leftovers from one of their locations and delivers to Wayside Christian Mission.

Larry is on the board and is currently serving as Treasurer.

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