Allan Law '62

Sara Jacobson

Do you ever wonder why you are here? Allan doesn’t. “God put me on this earth to help the poor.” Allan Law is on the streets of Minneapolis 20 hours a day, and on call 24 hours a day. Last year alone, 350 churches and 260 schools and businesses made sandwiches for his ministry called ‘Love One Another,’ and he delivered a grand total of 850,000 sandwiches and 100,000 energy packs to individuals experiencing homelessness and the shelters and organizations that work with these individuals.

“When I retired in ‘99, I committed to spend every night on the streets until the homeless situation in Minneapolis was resolved.”  At 74 years old Allan has spent the majority of his adult life—51 years—serving the homeless population in Minneapolis.  

A Heart For Others

Allan spent three years at MA, along with his brothers Larry, ‘61, Greg ’64, and Lanny ‘72. "When I look back on it, everything that happened at MA was a positive experience.” 

Allan was involved in band but described himself as “not the best student.” When he was given the Distinguished Alumni Award from MA, he joked with Arlene Anderson, telling her “I bet you’re surprised!” Compassionate even in his younger years, Allan's big heart only grew as he began working with inner city kids and ultimately, those experiencing homelessness.

Until about four years ago, Allan worked with students, beginning in 1967 as a teacher in Minneapolis. He also started an after-school program to minister to inner city youth which attracted 80-100 kids. This was his life: he worked with the students during school, after school, in the evenings, and on the weekends. “It was like having two jobs! I saw such positive results, even with the kids who people said were ‘impossible’.”  Every day after school and on the weekends, he would pile as many students as he could in his 15 passenger van and take them to places like the Science Museum, Capri Theatre and the Roller Garden. In the summer, he took them on trips in his station wagon. 

One time they went for ten days through North Dakota where “city kids” drove tractors and combines, and chased chickens.

Allan taught fifth and sixth grade for 32 years, and then in ‘99 retired from teaching and focused on his food ministry, "Love One Another." Love One Another is a non-profit that doesn't pay salaries and relies completely on volunteers. Allan has never received a paycheck for what he does, but today lives on his teacher retirement. All financial donations to his organization go directly to help the disadvantaged.

Caring For Others, One Sandwich at a Time

This past winter, Allan passed out hundreds of blankets, winter clothing and bus tokens. And sandwiches. Lots of sandwiches. He often brought food to the Native Americans living in tents along Hiawatha Avenue. He currently rents out seven storage units where he holds all of his donated items and has 17 freezers for sandwiches in his two bedroom apartment. He has been bringing sandwiches to the Salvation Army downtown every day for 20 years. He also brings sandwiches to Catholic Charities, Sharing and Caring Hands, and 21 different programs around the Minneapolis area.

Allan told me he wrestles with so many hard questions. What has happened to us as a society? Why do we allow so many people to be homeless? How can we look the other way and not help? Why have so many churches become so liberal? How can the interpretation of the Bible be up for grabs? “I have no hatred, but I have some hard questions. America is really changing. I’d like to ask people to pray—to pray for people on the streets, for people who don’t have anything.  Pray that if they don’t know Jesus, that they will. That’s what life is about.”    

Recognition

Allan has some amazing achievements under his belt and has numerous awards and recognitions to his name. He’s spoken at the US Senate and also at the Supreme Court. He has received recognition from three U.S. Presidents for his public service. He was featured in a documentary called “The Starfish Throwers.”(www.thestarfishthrowers.com)

To The Alumni

What would Allan say to other alumni? “I hope that other alums are involved with helping people. Be more concerned about other people and don’t be afraid of bringing your Christian values and lifestyle.”

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