Get to Know Our Semi-Finalists

Bricks to Bread International

Nancy Alvarado

As an emerging ministry, we empower the lives of women entrepreneurs in rural Costa Rica, positively impacting their families, communities and our volunteers. We partner with local organizations to support female entrepreneurs with dreams of owning their own bakery and pizza businesses, provide fresh baked goods and bring communities together. We focus on single household women seeking a sustainable source of income to combat poverty.

We believe women in rural areas deserve to be able to provide for their families in entrepreneurial ways just as their male counterparts and those living in areas where resources are more accessible. Our business model benefits from the will, interest and financial capacity of volunteers through our service based immersion experiences. These trips promote service, world peace, expand worldview, foster cross-cultural understanding, and inspire servant leadership. We are driven by our faith, hard work, integrity, and humility.

Letters of Love

Grace Berbig

Letters of Love is a nonprofit organization with the goal of providing emotional support for patients in Children’s Hospitals around the world. It has been recognized that child patients have not been receiving enough emotional support. We strive to make sure that each and every child fighting a serious illness knows that they are supported, loved, and have a whole team fighting right along with them.

Correlating with the Dough values, Letters of Love strives to amalgamate communities of all ages, ethnicities, statuses, and even locations around the world, with kindness. Our organization creates a fun and attainable opportunity for today’s youth to engage in community service with the purpose of positively impacting their peers who are in need of extra love and support. We instill in our members and supporters that you are never too young to make the world a better place filled with more love, kindness and compassion, providing support for patients in Children’s Hospitals.

UP!-Town Communities - Lifting others through supportive housing

Steve Ziemke

To create Up!Town Communities, a supportive, Christ-centered housing option for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Having started Beyond Limits, a College inclusion ministry, and observing the amazing outcomes, we saw the need to replicate the components of this ministry in a life-long sustainable community setting. How? Our clear answer … mobilizing the Church. The Church could provide what other organizations could not–life long relationships in a loving faith community. Students who have been part of Beyond Limits and other inclusive, residential college programs are anxious to take the next logical step of having a place to call their own.

As WCC knows, how we treat the most vulnerable in our society is a reflection of our humanity and true faith. When Jesus talked about the “least of these” it was not just to help the people who are overlooked and ignored. It was also meant for those giving the care. Supporting people with disabilities helps us all to become the people God wants us to be. We start to look like Jesus. By intentionally including people with disabilities in the life of the church, we can’t help but see Faith, Service, Grace, Justice, Love and Redemption. The Kingdom comes!

Got It Foods

Jennifer Behrens

1 in 8 Minnesotans struggle to afford food and to make matters worse, Minnesota ranks number 7 in the US for the most food deserts in the United States. This means that 30% of Minnesotans have low retail access to healthy food based on their distance to a full-service grocery store. The solution is Got it Foods which is a mobile discount supermarket. We will find an old school bus and turn it into a mobile grocery store. We will partner with whole sale distributors to sell distressed foods at a discounted cost and go into the food deserts.

My idea benefits the great good of the community because it will help combat food insecurity and food deserts while at the same time upcycling foods. Now more than ever, due to Covid, families in the metro area are experiencing food insecurity and with Got if Foods we would be able to target the areas hardest hit.

ConnectUP - Integrated Capital Fund

Elaine Rasmussen

Integrated Capital Fund (ICF) is the first Black/Native-led, mission-first investment firm offering hybrid capital stacks that include grants, debt, equity, specifically for entrepreneurs of color, rural & Native Americans grounded in the mission of ‘Powering access to capital by and for overlooked communities’. This will be the FIRST fund driven by economic justice, wealth creation for the investees & restorative finance as its core values. SISG will close the access to capital that disproportionately affects Black/Brown female founders who currently receive less than .05 percent of venture capital investment. In 2018, only 34 Black women received $1M+ of invested capital.

ICF reflects the creative mission of Wayzata Community Church in three ways: 1) church members can lend their Monday-Friday vocational expertise to entrepreneurs to fill much-needed knowledge gaps to help grow their business, 2) members will have the opportunity to invest in a pool that helps people rise, thus powering sales wealth creation and lifts them out of poverty 3) Church members can reconcile the the atrocities that have persisted and left women of color on the margins.

Be Kind 2 People

Justin Galzki

Our innovative approach is to initiate, teach, and replicate kindness to the individual through equitable mental health accessibility, employment opportunities, and creative food access. As the individual heals, the opportunity for community kindness, healing, and service moves from a dream to a reality. The problem is rarely with a community at large but rather the individual. Consequently, BeKind2People strives to create environments where mental health is a top priority, gainful employment is accessible, and food scarcity moves to food security. As an individual transform and heals, they are available to serve others selflessly and with the heart of Jesus.

In direct collaboration with our innovative approach, our idea promotes and encourages pure acts of love, service, and reconciliation. We believe that any community can be strengthened as the individual reconciles, loves, and serves. This automatically enhances the community’s ability to love, serve, and reconcile within themselves. Our passion is to show communities the divine grace of God by improving mental health, attainable employment, and food security. Experiencing the divine grace of God allows gratitude to flow. Gratitude is then a divine conduit for selfless reconciliation, unconditional love, and unrestricted service.

Growing Good Innovations, Repairing the World

Julie Rappaport

Hunger is caused by poverty. More people are unemployed now, feeling hopeless and useless. Youth want to create a better world where hunger disappears and the environment is clean. Our innovation is to bring several brilliant ideas from diverse food growers and producers of all ages and backgrounds under one roof to grow and distribute safe fresh food, utilizing cooperative cost-sharing of marketing, facility operations and sustainable recycling or re-use of good food wasted. Hyper-local food production and distribution can disrupt our broken food supply chain, especially for those suffering food insecurity, while inspiring entrepreneurs to raise lives from poverty.

Our nonprofit, SLP SEEDS dba Seeds Feeds, was founded on the values of “Tikkun Olam” (Repair the World) and the ethics of Permaculture (Care for People, Care for Earth, Share the Surplus and improve the world for future generations.) We don’t just give a fish (or fresh food), we teach how to fish (or grow food sustainably), how to make or fix the fishing pole (or gardens, hydroponics, aquaponics, mushroom grottos) and how to teach others through the sharing of the wealth of knowledge grown within our projects. Plus, we provide fresh, safe food to those in need.

Bethesda Cornerstone Village (through Bethesda Lutheran Communities)

Heather Willette

Bethesda Lutheran Communities’ Cornerstone Village in Victoria is a newly constructed apartment complex that blends seniors and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities together in a loving, Christian housing community. Social isolation is a real concern for both seniors and people with disabilities, leading to both psychological and physical ill-effects. Lack of housing options is also an acute problem, especially for persons with disabilities. Cornerstone Village seeks to combine these two groups along with comprehensive activity programming that utilizes local volunteers to help all involved experience faith, fellowship and more meaningful life experiences.

One of the key missions of Bethesda Cornerstone Village is creating meaningful opportunities for church volunteers and Cornerstone’s unique blend of residents to connect with each other in sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ through worship, workshops, Bible studies, social activities and prayer. Local volunteers will play a key role in affirming the significance, value and purpose of all people, including persons with disabilities, by becoming an integral part of this residential community. Their participation, in turn, will help our residents become a part of the surrounding community.

Mocha Momma's Coffee

Melanie Leehy

Mocha Momma’s Coffee addresses the need for a combination of job creation, job skills, life skills, and mentoring needed to help urban youth thrive. Often young people, for example in North Minneapolis, if they can get a job, are not given the equal opportunity to be mentored in such a way that they are successful. Therefore they either give up and quit, or are possibly let go because they do not have the life skills to match success, nor mentoring to build vision and purpose into their lives.

This is a faith based driven venture that will both model and teach biblical principals and fruit of the spirit. Participants will thus be discipled whilst they are gaining employment. Leadership staff will be individuals who can demonstrate grace, justice, and love even in challenging work situations. We desire to recruit Christian business personnel who want to be mentors to young adults. I, Melanie, as an African-American native of Minneapolis have personally transversed through issues of racism and justice to the point of knowing how to forgive, seek reconciliation, and be a victor instead of a victim.


Schia Hart

Handlender is a new platform that offers a simple and efficient way for people within established communities to request help or lend a helping hand to each other. Often times, we spend money for help we can actually obtain at no cost because we don’t know who ask, or because we want to avoid the time consuming process of asking individuals for help, one at a time. Handlender makes it possible for people to receive help efficiently, from people they know and trust, and without the burden of being indebted to one another financially.

Handlender strengthens and enriches communities by connecting members who need a hand with those in the same community who possess the skills to lend a hand. This connection promotes a perpetual cycle of giving and receiving, which also allows members to save time and money, rather than spending resources on services provided by unknown external vendors. Handlender also helps members of communities unearth hidden skills and talents through opportunities to serve others. By identifying these skills/talents, members can be confident that the support they give, and the help they need, is already within reach–right in their own community!

Wildflyer Coffee

Carley Kammerer

Wildflyer Coffee exists to end youth homelessness by addressing the most significant barrier to stable housing – consistent employment. Youth experiencing homelessness struggle to get and keep jobs due to internal and external barriers intrinsic to homelessness. With consistent employment and income, and strong support from Wildflyer staff, youth are able to leave homelessness, breaking the pattern of cycling through programs and into adult services without gaining the traction necessary to break the cycle of homelessness. Wildflyer offers a 6-month work and life skills training program designed to facilitate this transition into mainstream employment and, through consistent work, stable housing.

A society that allows its most innocent members to suffer the realities of street life – violence, survival sex, human trafficking, chemical dependency, untreated mental health, and suicide – is not a just or loving society. We exist to bring justice by serving these youth with compassion and patience, supporting them out of homelessness into safe and stable lives. Ending youth homelessness benefits not only the individual but the community. The majority of chronically homeless adults report their first instance of homelessness was before eighteen. It is clear that youth intervention is the key to ending homelessness and building better communities.

Hope Works Here, A Service of Faith’s Lodge

Kelly McDyre

Grief cripples anyone in its path. It costs US employers $75 billion annually in lost productivity, turnover and mental health. Imagine the grief of losing a child and it’s easy to see how a parent whose world has been thrown off its axis has a hard time returning to work. Child loss grief impacts both the employer AND the affected employee and often results in loss of confidence, dismissal, and poor performance. Hope Works is an employer-sponsored benefit meant to aid in the transition of a parent back to work after the death or medically complex diagnosis of a child.

Hope Works Here embodies the values of faith and service in its goals to acknowledge and honor grief and bridge company policy with compassion. Our goal is to give employers the tools and resources to address affected employees with an intentional, dignified and compassionate approach to their return to work after a crisis with their child. While job retention, productivity and confidence are the main goals of this service, the real impact comes in the immediate feeling of support and caring that can lighten the burden of grief that a parent will bear forever.

Edith’s House Inc.

Edith Perlin

Edith’s Empowerment Plan is what makes Edith’s House Innovative Step 1: Outreach and Awareness (Need) Spend time in the community and identifies individuals who are in need. Step 2: Plan and Advocacy (Help) Edith’s House establishes a plan, connects individuals to ministry, social services, and provides basic case management by reviewing the plan and making sure the plan continues to be appropriate for the individual. Step 3: Housing (Shelter) Provide a conduit to transitional/permanent housing. Step 4: Support (Rise) Provide Support Group/Relapse Support Step 5: Empowerment (Thrive) Edith Evangelists give back to the community, clients become mentors.

Edith’s House’ is characterized by its attention to individual experiences. The Edith’s House team takes time to understand the specific situation and create a plan to establish a path to self-sufficiency. This is rooted in ministry and the stabilization of housing. Once this basic need is addressed, a comprehensive plan to address employment, connection to required social services, and emotional support for continued success is created in order to set a clear path to self-reliance.

Lift Up

Shane O’Rourke

Lift Up is a digital nonprofit platform that connects you to certified, tangible projects, with the greatest impact around the world. We operate a true 100% donation model, meaning every penny directly makes an impact. Donors also get to see their impact through photos, videos and GPS coordinates. We are living amongst the most generous generation of all time. Countless people are looking to make an impact. Many of these same people are asking: who can we trust? where do we start? Lift Up provides a unique and engaging solution. Take a look at the current Lift Up platform:

Lift Up was created to spread the tangible love of Jesus Christ. Our goal/prayer is to impact 10’s of Millions of people in need. We have been working tirelessly to create a platform that has the capacity to care for the least of these. To significantly impact areas of need, such as: Hunger Relief, Orphan Care, Housing, Education, Health Care, Clean Water, etc.

Contact / Location

Contact info

Address: 125 Wayzata Boulevard East
Wayzata, MN 55391
Phone: 952-473-8877

Worship / Calendar

Sunday Worship

8 a.m., 9 a.m., 10 a.m. Parables and 10:45 a.m.
on Facebook, Youtube and our website

Please visit WC-Connect for current calendar information.