Creating Opportunities | Bonnie Alexander
The story of an incredible Adventist woman who has served the homeless community for over ten years and helped in remote villages of Uganda, told from the perspective of JoLene Danielson.
I remember my family started looking for a church family when I was about 12 years old. My family attended many churches, many of which lacked children my and my brother's age. We came across a church that was held in the gymnasium of a Seventh-Day Adventist school called Tualatin Valley Junior Academy (at the time). They had tons of kids and room to run. I remember I was small enough to fit on one of the chairs to lay down on one of my parent's lap to take a nice Sabbath nap during church service. As I grew, I looked up to a prominent church member named Bonnie Alexander. Our church changed locations, merged with another and now we see each other at Crosspoint SDA services met with hugs and warm smiles.
Bonnie has had over ten years of experience volunteering at the Clark Center making a meal (what we call “Taco Salad” AKA Haystacks!) once a month. I remember volunteering with Bonnie and the rest of the church gang with my family when I was maybe 15 years old. I deeply enjoyed serving the community and hearing the stories of the homeless men in the shelter. My parents don’t enjoy the long trek downtown Portland with all the one-way streets, so we didn’t go often when I was young. I remember admiring Bonnie’s heart for service and wanting to do something like she was to make the world a better place.
Her list of community outreach is long. She crocheted afghans herself, collected men's underwear and socks to donate to homeless shelters, gave time to Home Plate in Hillsboro and Beaverton where they help homeless youth with food, clothing and finding a job, and donates school supplies for the Family Promise in Hillsboro. She also strives to support Ourganda which is an organization that gives medical support to remote villages in Uganda ran by some of her closest friends.
Her passion for helping comes from her childhood. She shared with me how she couldn’t exactly remember if her family was homeless, but her family had very little. A vague memory she has is of a charity going to her house with food baskets over the holidays and a grass-green coat she received as a gift that she fell in love with. The coat was given to her freely, but it was worth more than a million dollars to her. She cherished the things kind people had given to her and her family, so it inspired her to give back, tenfold.
Thank you Bonnie for being such an inspiration to me!
I hope to be able to meet baby Bonnie who I know has some incredible loving grandma to look up to sometime soon.