Olivia serving breakfast while on the Ozarks mission trip in 2012
Imagine sharing one roll of toilet paper per month with your family. Seem impossible? It’s reality for the families served by The Open Door (formerly the Eagan Resource Center). The food shelf receives a multitude of wonderful donations for those in need, but they’re constantly short on toilet paper. This realization stuck with Olivia Prestrud, an Easter member who volunteers at The Open Door.
Olivia has volunteered many times through Easter Lutheran. She enjoys helping the food shelf because she says, “They are doing something great for people who don’t have a lot.” The Eagan High School senior is also no stranger to mission trips. She’s travelled across the country for mission trips to places like New Jersey, the Ozarks, and Sault Ste Marie, MI. This summer, Olivia will travel to Jackson, MS.
Seeing the need for toilet paper and diapers at The Open Door, she thought “If I made my friends and neighbors aware of this problem, they would be happy to help.” Olivia started by sending an email explaining the situation to her friends and neighbors. In the email, she said that if anyone didn’t want to donate, to let her know. Otherwise, she would be stopping by their house.
“Fortunately, we got no responses and there were piles of goods on almost every doorstep,” she says. Olivia received so many donations that her family filled the car twice. Mostly, she collected toilet paper and diapers, but people also donated non-perishables, basic toiletries, and cash.
At the end of the day, Olivia collected about 300 pounds of items and over $100 in cash. The food shelf was very appreciative. With $100 in cash, The Open Door was able to purchase over $1,000 worth of items.
She says, “It made me realize the impact that just one person can have when they take the initiative to make the change.” Olivia was amazed that with one little email and a few hours of her time, she could supply The Open Door with months of basic necessities. “I saw how generous people can be when they realize that there is a need and they can do something to help.”