Our story starts in the mid 2000’s. A core base of people were learning how to serve others, learning lessons of humility, establishing integrity, and learning how to love others well! The group that was eventually brought together had two main backgrounds… Food bank work,& homelessness awareness. Both groups were working with those in poverty within a grass roots organization and served together there for three years. The organization became a huge success and grew exponentially in the number of people in need, being served.
During this time of success and growth, a group of 6 of us were feeling pulled toward a completely new direction. A foundation was being built within us to serve others in a completely different way. We all came to the decision to step away from the project we started, at the height of it success, and take a year off from the huge serving projects to regroup. The place where we were coming from was so overwhelming and consuming that we needed a break.
Our break did not last too long...
Within a few months of stepping back for a time, we were reconnected with people and contacts that were ready with supplies, financial backing and commitments to move forward with a different way of meeting needs in our area. It would be something that the Toledo had never seen. Another volunteer offered us their 501c3 status, which was about to expire, to make our adventure legal. We were given everything we needed to do something we had always wanted to do, to serve others the way we were created to serve and give others the power to do the same thing. Taking all that we had learned over the past 3 years, we melded into the new group called “EnPuzzlement.”
During 2010, we spend time to slowly build a foundation. WE sought to answer the questions, “What do we want to accomplish?” “What are the steps to reach our goal?” and “How do we offer this to others?” Our only available space was the garage area of one of our families. This became our first warehouse space and service center.
We were closely connected to a man named Phil Linden, who was from Elyria, Ohio. He did food work in his area on his own. Together our group and Phil saw value in each other and joined forces to help one another. One of our founding principles was to connect with like-minded people, that saw value in the individual, so that together we could accomplish so much more.
Food was the main resource we had available, so we decided to use it to reach hurting people. Food is one of the foundations that bring stability to people and families. There is something about sharing a meal and sharing community that goes hand and hand. It is difficult to build a meaningful relationship with someone, if they are unstable due to hunger. Giving to someone, something to bring stability to their life, is the start of building this relationship. Our vision began to widen when we realized that we wanted to offer this opportunity to anyone who as the desire to help others. Not just exclusive groups with the correct legal paperwork, but any group that had a passion to serve.
We spent 2 years working out of the garage. What started out as 6 pallets of food in the garage, turned into 25 plus, and we were out of room to grow. At this point, we took our first leap of faith to look in investing into a larger space.
Though friendships and conversations we were offered some warehouse space, in the back of a reception hall out on Route 51.
With a reasonable rental rate that our core group could cover the cost of, we moved into a 2500 sqft space in December, 2011.
Most of 2012 was invested in creating the next layer of our organization, building trust, empowering individuals, and showing others the value of all donations, with the people we were working with on a daily bases. New connections were being made every month, and our vision of creating a Centralized Serving Center for NW Ohio started to take form.
A lot of personal growth within the group was taking place. We were learning, that at the heart our success, as an organization, was when relationships formed. We had volunteers almost every day that were ready to invest in others. Bonds were being made, not only with the people that came to use our resources, but also between the volunteers that worked together. We weren’t just finding value in the resources we had, but also in each other. The miracles that happened between the people, within their relationships, is the heart of success we were experiencing.
By November we found ourselves at the next great tipping point. In a short 11 months, we we being pushed to capacity and out of room again.
A decision had to be made- either stay where we are and keep doing what we were doing at the level we were at, or take an enormous leap of faith and embrace the possibilities of something more…
The day after Thanksgiving 2012 we moved everything from the old space to our new, almost, 10,000 sqft space. Complete with shopping space, disaster relief space, office space, and project work area space. The doors were now open to live into our potential.
EnPuzzlement can be likened to a “Sandbox!” It is a place to come together with friends and family, to create, dream and become fulfilled as people. Humanity was created to invest in something bigger than ourselves.
The reward for serving is the creation of relationships. All of our resources allow us to build relationships - from volunteer to recipients, volunteer to volunteer, group to group, recipient to volunteer.
Our resources are given to us, to perform the task together. We now have a space, set apart, to be together and make genuine use of our time.
Humanity is intelligent and creative. We have the ability to be problem solvers and look for value in all people, ideas and items that arrive with us. It is a challenge every month to make the connection between the resource and the need. We just have to work together to create and connect.
It will always come back to the individual! What is your passion? Why do you want to give? Who do you want to connect with and reach out too?
Why we are different!
The goal of our charity is to help people pour into their passion and help them reach their own goals to change the world!
Now its Your Turn
We are not here to compete with any program that already exists in Toledo. Being a private organization, we are able to give people an option that does not require state or federal numbers. We are another option for people to use, as a resource while serving others.
From 25,000 lbs to 1,000,000 lbs, we have no limit on availability and access to excess. In the past we have received calls to handle 100,000 pounds of potatoes, apples, bread and squash. We want to include anyone into our network of people that can find homes for these resources, be good stewards, and not waste what we have been given.
Our Name is unique, En- To Cause, Puzzle - to exercise one's mind, ment- to achieve a result
Now its your turn...