Mankato Couple Organizes Day of Service for Upcoming Adoption

A Mankato couple and dozens of volunteers spent Saturday helping a North Mankato woman with home repairs in an effort to raise funds for the couple's upcoming adoption.

Grant and Jennifer Hanson organized the fundraiser through Both Hands, an organization that helps families raise money for adoptions while helping widows with home improvements. They are hoping to offset some of the adoption costs through sponsorship of the service project.


The Hansons and about 60 volunteers spent Saturday fixing the home of North Mankato resident Vickie Ristau, whose husband died about 10 years ago. The volunteers repaired her ceiling, installed new gutters, built her a new patio and path from the backdoor, repaired windows, cleaned and organized the garage and installed a new mailbox, doorbell and security lights.

“It was truly a miracle,” Ristau said Sunday. “Everybody just worked so hard and (got) so much done that I couldn't do. ... I just can't say enough for how great and wonderful it was and for the things they did.”

Grant Hanson said the volunteers finished about 95 percent of the repairs, noting they will come back this fall to paint the house.

The Hansons have been married about eight years and have a 3-year-old son and a 2-year-old son. Grant said he and Jen have always wanted to adopt and finally decided to do it about a year and a half ago.

The couple finished all of their paperwork for the adoption in March and are currently waiting for a referral. Their goal is to raise $10,000 for the adoption, which could cost between $30,000 and $50,000.

“It's overwhelming at times,” Grant Hanson said of the adoption process, “but when we sit and we're quiet and we think about it, we just can't get the idea out of our minds that this is what God wants us to do.”

The Hanson's friends appear to share that sentiment. Brian Finstrom volunteered with the Hansons on Saturday, leading the effort to repair the roof over Ristau's back room. He became friends with the Hansons through their Bible study group and helped them send out sponsorship letters.


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Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress...

James 1:27 (NIV)