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By Joe Block 

6:8 thrives in service of others


October 25, 2018

Photo contributed

Standing in front of the sign at their new building are: Kristine Revak, Sarah Ramthun, John Ramthun, Carole Ensminger, and Joyce Schoepp

Starting out in John and Sarah Rathmun's laundry room 8 years ago, 6:8's humble beginnings mirror their purpose. They have 4 priorities: relationships, education, each person is giving and receiving, and quality service to others-each inspired by giving to the community at large.

In October of 2008, John and Sarah were in Sacramento at a conference, and the spark of 6:8 was struck. They were inspired to serve those they live around. Both decided to go all in-making 6:8 their full-time job and life, and from there the organization took off.

At its first meeting for volunteers, 52 people showed up. Now, it's not unusual to see 150 volunteers milling around.

Initially, 6:8's name was inspired by Micah 6:8: "He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly[a] with your God." They then began googling other 6:8 verses-Isiah, Mark, and Timothy-and found they all fit their aims. Thus 6:8's name was born.

One of the most visible features of 6:8 is its community garden. Last year it produced 900 pounds of produce, and is on target for 2,000 this year. Volunteers who tend the garden get first choice at the results-cantaloupe was particularly popular this year-and the remainder goes to the community meal. 6:8 offers two community meals per month: the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month. Volunteers create the meal, and everyone is welcome.

5 staff keep the program running-from Kristine Revack, who runs the community meal and garden, to Carole Ensminger, the admin "extraordinaire." Ensminger manages the volunteer schedule as well as the room schedule-each room in the building is open to be rented.

6:8's first event occurred on 6:8-June 8, specifically. It was a homeless sleep out with 3 members during a rainy night. But from that moment the organization began to grow to where it is today.

"Volunteers make a huge impact," explained John Rathmun. Volunteers, and giving, is the key to 6:8. Giving to others, and being given to from others.

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