February 2023 Agency Newsletter

February 2023 Agency Newsletter

Feb 20, 2023


60 Logo

We have had a very busy winter here so far at FamilyMeans! We welcomed 2023, which means all year we will be celebrating our agency’s 60th Anniversary! To commemorate, we will once again be hosting our Better is Possible fundraiser in March! Make sure to purchase your tickets soon to join us for cocktail hour, dinner, guest speaker, and auction! 

As we finished out 2022 and start 2023, we look back on our accomplishments of the past few months. We have added many new faces, spent time with the community, attended workshops, and helped youth learn new skills including skiing and snowboarding. We are looking ahead to a great year of events, groups, and programs! 

We invite you to learn more about our services and upcoming activities in this edition of our FamilyMeans Agency Newsletter! 

In This Issue:

Better is Possible Fundraiser Invite
Gala Picture Gala Picture Gala Picture

CA Header
Caregiving and aging night out
Caregiving and aging night out

Night Out Space Available!

FamilyMeans offers an evening group respite! 

Caregivers of older adults can take a break while their care recipient enjoys a fun night at FamilyMeans! 

Participants will enjoy various activities and will be supervised by trained staff and volunteers. Caregivers will get a two-hour break where they can enjoy some free time to run errands, get dinner, or just relax! 

“Thank you for putting this on. A great time was had by all!” That is how one of our clients always ends Night Out. He, along with our other clients, enjoy the singing, companionship, and games (both group and individual) that we provide at Night Out for care receivers to help their caregiver get a well-deserved break for their hard work.  

If you are a caregiver looking to utilize this service or if you know someone who may be interested, please email Dan Bohnker at dbohnker@familymeans.org or 651-439-4055 to register or ask any question. 

What to Bring: Participants are asked to bring supper. There are several food options nearby, or we have a microwave available. If anything else is needed for that evening’s activities you will be notified after you register.  

Upcoming Dates:

February 28, March 28, April 25, and May 23 

5:30pm to 7:30pm 

Youth Development Banner

Youth Development Participants Hit The Slopes

This winter, members of our Youth Development Program have been participating in Youth Advantage and Snowboard Outreach Society (SOS)'s Learn to Ride (LTR) at Afton Alps Ski Resort. 

Youth skiing The LTR five-day program allows youth to learn how to downhill ski or snowboard while also focusing on core values including courage, discipline, integrity, wisdom, compassion, and humility. Youth received equipment, dinner, and winter clothes for their lessons. 

This program provides participants with excitement and accomplishment through learning a new activity that most do not have the means to experience. Learning to ski and snowboard can be a time and money constraint for many families as gear and tickets can be expensive. The participants are put into different groups depending on experience levels and get to learn a new skill in a positive environment with their peers. 

Our youth at the Cimarron Teen Center have been loving this opportunity to learn a new skill and have looked forward to it each week. We are fortunate to be able to provide these experiences for our Youth Development Program to further their knowledge in skills both physically and mentally.

Financial Solutions Banner

Financial Solutions Trip To New York City

Eli Snyder and Joe Cash In January. two of our veteran Financial Counselors traveled to New York City to participate in a hands-on Co-Design Workshop with other CCA agencies at the CapitalOne Manhattan headquarters. We partnered with a Behavioral Science focused non-profit consulting agency called Ideas42 in an attempt to gain new industry-wide insights. The aim was to work towards creatively brainstorming ideas to improve lives and build efficient systems to serve our community even better. Eli Snyder and Joe Cash are excited to implement a lot of these great ideas in their quest to always improve our services and client experience.  

Hear from Eli Snyder on his experience from the trip-

Over this past year Joe Cash and I have had the privilege of representing the agency through project participation with Ideas42.  NFCC agencies across the country, in conjunction with sponsorship funding from Capital One, sought out the non-profit consulting firm Ideas42 in an attempt to explore innovative and efficient solutions around hurdles that many agencies and clients deal with in their attempts to work towards achieving debt freedom.  It began with attending several Behavioral Science virtual meetings in the middle of last year, and eventually led to us traveling out to New York City to continue working through, and brainstorming, different potential opportunities to make our agency process, and client experience, increasingly better.  

Overall our short New York trip was amazingly productive.  It is not often, in the day-to-day grind of regular work-weeks, that you can spend so much focused time on idea generation, problem solving around process innovation, and the psychology around client behavior and ways to improve the success of community members that use our services. Of course visiting New York City itself was pretty amazing as well!  Joe had been there several times before but it was my first time in the Big-Apple.  While it was a very short mid-week stay, Joe and I certainly attempted to make the most of it.  Whether it was the sobering visit to ‘ground-zero’, eating authentic New York style cuisine, riding the underground subway, or attending a famous New York Opera show (performed in French) and not finding out until the 2nd act that built directly into the railing in front of our seats was a small screen and button that you could press to read the play in English subtitles…it was a trip to remember!

Our hope, when this year-long project comes to a conclusion, is that we’re better able to understand the psychology and behaviors of the clients we serve, streamline our work and system processes, and continue to innovate and implement beneficial changes to our program to be even more effective into the future.    

Joe Cash in front of artwork
Eli and Joe

Counseling and Therapy Banner

FamilyMeans Participates At DaVinci Fest

FamilyMeans Logo drawn in Da Vinci Style In January, FamilyMeans was represented at DaVinci Fest at Stillwater High School. DaVinci Fest is an annual community event celebrating art and science hosted by The Partnership Plan.  At its core, it showcases the incredible talents and creativity of the youth who live in the St. Croix River Valley.  With the addition of educational exhibits and demonstrations from area businesses and organizations in the afternoon, it has become a regional art and science extravaganza. 

The focus for the FamilyMeans table was to provide calming tools for students who feel stressed out, overwhelmed, or who need a break.  Volunteers gave students the opportunity to create calming stones, which are small stones with a meaningful message or image that you can take anywhere. These stones The stones were small enough to travel in pockets or to keep at your desk. In moments where students feel overwhelmed or stressed, they can look at their stone and reflect on the message it holds to help calm down. Student were also offered mandala coloring pages. Mandalas have very detailed designs, and coloring them in allows students to slow down and relax their mind. 

"It was a well-organized event with an easy project that many could do (both young and old). We were able to share information with families in the community at large but also those who can directly benefit from [our School Based Mental Health Program]" stated a FamilyMeans volunteer who participated at the booth. 

The relationship between FamilyMeans and local schools including Stillwater very important for the sake of youth development and mental health. Principals and teachers in our districts have noticed positive impacts in the students we are able to serve. Students can feel more comfortable and confident in school while allowing them to feel like a contributing member of a classroom and school as a whole. Since therapy can take place within the school, it eliminates any transportation challenges or schedule conflicts a family might have that hinder their child from getting the support that they need. 

FamilyMeans Booth At DaVinci Fest
FamilyMeans Booth At DaVinci Fest

Get Involved Banner
Restorative yoga for Grief Support

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Student Loans: Basic Information and Tips

March 27th

Learn the basics of educational lending, guidelines for borrowing, repayment and hardship options, return on investment considerations, and strategies for accelerating student loan debt repayment.  Great for anyone new to the student loan process or  trying to dig themselves out of educational debt.   

Click HERE to Register

Dementia Planning Education
Join the FamilyMeans Team!

    FamilyMeans is currently accepting applications for:

FamilyMeans offers competitive pay and benefits such as health and dental insurance, 403(b) retirement plan, and paid time off to eligible employees. 

Our mission is to strengthen communities by helping individuals and families through challenges in all life stages. FamilyMeans envisions vibrant and resilient communities where everyone lives to their fullest potential. Our work is life’s challenges. A career with FamilyMeans provides an opportunity to enrich your professional life while working alongside colleagues who share a vision of making changes in people’s lives through high quality services. We strive to provide the highest quality of care for our clients as well as work-life experience for our employees

FamilyMeans Board of Directors

Brian Gunderson, Chair | Melissa Harris, Vice Chair | Peter Matzek, Treasurer | Josh Zignego, Secretary

Lindsay Belland | Bob Clark | Anu Green | Heidi Hubard, MN | Marissa Kropp | Mike Lyner

Jessica Meletiou | Rajean Moone, PhD | Clark Schroeder | James Kroening, President & CEO

1875 Northwestern Ave S | Stillwater, Minnesota 55082
651 439 4840 | mnelson@familymeans.org

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