Glass for Good

February 1, 2021

As many of you know, we are always humbled by the ways folks have continued to support Broad Street Ministry during the pandemic. We are especially grateful when that help comes from the volunteers that are maintaining that connection and support from their homes, like Bob Kaufman.

Bob has been a supporter and regular volunteer of Broad Street Ministry for many years. Pre-pandemic you could find him volunteering in either of his favorite departments; the mail or clothing closet. He is partial to these services as he appreciates the one-on-one time with the guests.

When speaking of how he came to get involved, he said:

I was introduced by friends to Broad Street Ministry (BSM) about four years ago at the annual Be Our Guest event. My spouse and I were so impressed by the radical hospitality approach that we began donating and I decided I would volunteer at BSM once I retired–which is exactly what I started doing almost 2 ½ years ago.

He hasn’t been able to volunteer during the pandemic and decided to use his time to perfect his stained glass craft. While he refers to himself as an avid hobbyist, he has crafted many panels for friends and family at no charge. Some recipients of his artwork insisted on paying for materials and tried to convince him to also allow them to compensate him for his time.

One friend refused to listen to his reasoning and just sent him a check.

He decided to donate the extra money to Broad Street Ministry and, when he let his friend know that, he realized he could ask others to make a donation! This was the genesis of how his pandemic project turned into an online stained glass store, Glass for Good.

Bob explains how it works:

Individuals pay me directly only for the costs of materials and shipping. And as recompense for my time, they also make a donation to a non-profit that is working to address the needs of vulnerable individuals or to fight inequality, especially in their local community.
Buyers get a custom handmade piece of art and a potential tax deduction. Charitable organizations get a donation and I can pursue my passion.
BSM is one of the organizations in Philadelphia that I recommend receive donations on the store’s website. Since I adopted this model, several people have made donations to BSM. I hope that reading this will encourage more to do so.