With Gratitude for My Time at The Dignity Center
Dear friends,

I hope you are making it through these hot summer days! I am Allison Connelly, and I have been doing communications work for The Dignity Center since May 2020. I am writing to offer my gratitude for the entire community of The Dignity Center as I transition out of this role and into what is next for me.

I first connected with The Dignity Center through my CPE internship in Summer 2020. During my CPE internship, which I completed entirely remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I provided pastoral care to interns and volunteers through phone calls, Zoom meetings, and even facilitating a virtual memorial service. I also collaborated with staff at The Dignity Center and Hennepin Avenue UMC to create, edit, and manage content for The Dignity Center’s social media accounts and bi-weekly newsletter. After my CPE internship ended, I was hired on as a part-time staff member of The Dignity Center in a Communications Specialist position. In that role, I have taken on responsibility for editing grant applications and fundraising letters, managing and growing the reach of our Facebook page, and re-formatting and producing our email newsletters. 

I am deeply grateful for how I have learned and grown during my time at The Dignity Center. In addition to gaining important skills in creating and editing high-quality communications content, I have also gained a better understanding of what it takes to cultivate community among those who need it the most. I have witnessed the volunteers, interns, and staff at The Dignity Center build and maintain meaningful relationships among our low-income or homeless participants. I have mourned the losses and hardships of our participants, and I have celebrated their achievements: securing a job, renting an apartment, or giving back to their community through volunteering and service. I have been blessed with the leadership of Mary, Director of The Dignity Center, and by the experience of Sarah, Director of Development of The Dignity Center. I will take their presence and wisdom with me even as I transition out of my role at The Dignity Center.

As I leave The Dignity Center, I move into a position nearby working in ministry with children and families. I hope to instill in the youth I work with the values of social justice, interdependence, and mutual respect that have been so core to my experience of The Dignity Center. And, whenever I need a place for my youth to engage in service opportunities, I know exactly where to look.

The work I have done over the past year would not be possible without you, the supporters, friends, volunteers, interns and former interns, church and community partners, and staff of The Dignity Center and Hennepin Avenue UMC. My time at The Dignity Center has blessed and formed me and will continue influencing my work for years to come. Thank you to each of you who support and partner with us at The Dignity Center — you are changing lives, just as you have changed mine.

With care and gratitude,
Allison Connelly
Meet Dan, A New Volunteer!
Meet Dan Ferber, one of our outstanding volunteers at The Dignity Center! Dan introduces himself below.

I am Dan Ferber, a member of St. Mark’s Cathedral with a definite ecumenical approach to my faith. After my recent retirement from software engineering at Intel, I wanted to engage in direct help to people in my Twin Cities community. This was to get to know people that came from very different backgrounds yet also to help where I could to support others as they start or continue along the path of lifestyle changes in terms of income and a place to live. Or if not that, to simply help serve meals and provide aid to participants at The Dignity Center. 

I soon found out that everyone starts in the kitchen at The Dignity Center, which was just fine with me and provided me an opportunity to help and meet people. At present, I help prepare and serve meals, clean dishes, and generally help out at The Dignity Center. One day I aspire to help as a participant advocate, in addition to kitchen and related help. To make sure I understood food safety and did my part, I earned the National Restaurant Association ServSafe Food Handler certificate. My career spanned jobs of bank teller, cab driver, software tester, writer, and engineer. I have lived in several countries, speak fairly fluent Spanish and have some degrees, but none of that really matters as all it takes to serve at The Dignity Center is the will, health, and some energy.

Dan’s ServSafe Certificate is a blessing to The Dignity Center as it allows him to handle and prepare food in our kitchen for our participants who count on receiving fresh and nourishing meals. Thank you, Dan, for your commitment to The Dignity Center and for all you do to help us out! We are so grateful for you and for all our volunteers. 
The Dignity Center is a ministry of Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church.
The Dignity Center is located at 425 Groveland Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55403 | 612-435-1315
Visit us Monday, Wednesday, Friday | 9 a.m. to noon