May 2023 Agency Newsletter
May 24, 2023
After a long and cold winter, we are finally heading into some warmer weather! This spring, we have many exciting program offerings. We invite you to learn more about our services and upcoming activities in this edition of our FamilyMeans Agency Newsletter!
In This Issue:
On March 30, we held our 3rd Annual Better is Possible Fundraiser at JX Venue in Stillwater. This event included dinner, a silent and live auction, and a short program for almost 160 guests.
With the generosity of our community, FamilyMeans raised over $125,000 in support of agency programs!MORE INFORMATION AND EVENT PHOTOS
VIEW 60TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION VIDEO
THANK YOU TO OUR HIGH-LEVEL SPONSORS!
FamilyMeans is pleased to announce that it has been recertified by Points of Light, the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service, as a Service Enterprise organization. Locally, the Minnesota Alliance for Volunteer Advancement (MAVA) is the training hub for this program.
Achieving our Points of Light Service Enterprise recertification confirms that FamilyMeans continues to leverage the skills and talents of volunteers in our core operations. It also demonstrates that we are proven to be adaptable, sustainable and capable of scaling our impact in delivering our services to individuals, families, and the communities we serve.
In fact, organizations that certify join the top 11% of non-profits nationwide in volunteer management and organizational performance.
Dan Bohnker, Volunteer Resources Coordinator, added that "FamilyMeans is always striving towards excellence and this certification shows that volunteer engagement is part of that excellence."
In addition to the Service Enterprise certification, FamilyMeans was granted a renewed endorsement by the Council on Accreditation (COA).
Founded in 1977, the COA is an international, independent, nonprofit organization that accredits human and social service providers. Accreditation provides a framework to manage resources, offer best practices, and strive for continuous improvement. This supports an organization’s sustainability, encourages its growth, and helps it to achieve measurable results.
President and CEO, Jim Kroening, says, "Being reaccredited by the Council on Accreditation is validation that FamilyMeans continues to adhere to the highest practice standards and quality programming for non-profit social services. It also demonstrates to our board, funders, staff, and those we serve that our organization warrants their support and confidence."
The Grace B. Stoltze award was created in 1990 to recognize outstanding volunteer commitment to FamilyMeans. The award, named after one of our founders, is a tribute to all of the volunteers who began Family Service of the St. Croix Area (now FamilyMeans) in 1963.
The recipients are chosen for their outstanding, high-quality service, performed over a significant number of years, which reflects and furthers the mission of the agency. This year, FamilyMeans awarded Sam Coburn with this designation.
Sam started volunteering with FamilyMeans in 2013. Over the last ten years, he has given over 6,500 hours of volunteer time. Sam meets with 2-3 families a week for in-home respite and is at FamilyMeans every Friday for Day Out! and Virtual Day Out. Sam has been described as the "life of the party" and always makes each day special for everyone he connects with. We are proud to add Sam to the elite group of volunteers who receive this award.
Dan Bohnker, Volunteer Resources Coordinator, presented Sam with this award at the FamilyMeans Annual Meeting in late April. Dan shared how Sam has a special gift bringing joy, laughter, and song to all he volunteers with. Next, Sam shared a few words regarding the impact that his volunteerism has had on his life. By the end of his speech, he had the whole room of board members, legacy circle members, and special guests singing 'Peanut Butter and Jelly,' surely a first in agency history!
View a special video that highlights our Caregiver In-Home Respite Program, and shows Sam in his element HERE!
Since the early days of the Youth Development program, cycling, bike mechanics, and bike safety have been a pivotal piece of the summers in Cimarron and Landfall. Due to multiple circumstances, including the Covid-19 pandemic, the bike program has lost some of its steam over the last few summers. Program Manager, Jaime Staska, plans to reinvigorate the program and bring cycling back this summer for youth to enjoy.
Starting in June, group bike rides will be held in Landfall and Cimarron with the new Summer Bike Club. Riding bike outside is a great way for everyone to get exercise, enjoy nature, and form new relationships with other participants.
We already have over 20 youth signed up for the Summer Bike Club. A recent partnership with Sustainable Stillwater will allow almost all youth to have a bike of their own. On Saturday, May 13, the Stillwater Police Department Bike Rodeo, 12 bikes were given to Cimarron youth. Earlier in the Spring, a bike collection event was held to acquire these bikes. They were then divided up to be given to local agencies, and we are so thankful to have received them!
We are looking for volunteers to help with the bike rides! If you are interested, visit our sign up page.
Check out some past Bike Program pictures below.
FamilyMeans Financial Solutions recently achieved certification from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to administer multiple counseling services. We will soon be available to provide services such as pre-purchase housing education, pre-purchase counseling, rental counseling, post-purchase counseling.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development is the Federal agency responsible for national policy and programs that address America's housing needs, improve and develop the Nation's communities, and enforce fair housing laws. HUD's mission is to help create a decent home and suitable living environment for all Americans. A certification from HUD allows our counselors to help more people with their housing goals through specialized credit and debt counseling.
Follow FamilyMeans on social media and our website to be the first to know when this program will begin!
May is Mental Health Month. Established in 1949, Mental Health Month aims to increase awareness of the importance of mental health and wellness in Americans' lives, and to celebrate recovery from mental illness. Mental health is essential for a person's overall health, and breaking down stigmas and barriers to access is important.
Our Counseling & Therapy team has been getting our staff active in stopping the stigma with discussions, posters around the office, and activities including mindfulness and self-care. FamilyMeans also participated in the Stomp The Stigma walk in New Richmond, WI on May 15th. Check out some pictures below!
FamilyMeans Clinical Director, Erin Rowlson says "It is important to bring awareness to mental health, especially in the workplace. As a society, we talk openly about our physical health - pain, illness, wellness practices, but often shy away from speaking about mental health. This month, we hope to reduce the stigma by talking about our mental health and normalizing its presence in our lives.
The more you talk, the more people can build understanding. The more understanding we have the more compassion for others we build."
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Check out our 2022 Annual Report!
The FamilyMeans Annual Report is a compilation of the successes of last year.
View donor, staff, and volunteer lists, as well as program highlights, statistics, and more!
Join the FamilyMeans Team!
FamilyMeans is currently accepting applications for:
- Part-Time Receptionist
- Financial Solutions Client Support Agent
- Outpatient Mental Health Clinician, Hudson, WI
- Youth Program Coordinator (Elementary)
- View More
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
Melissa Harris, Chair | Bob Clark, Vice Chair | Peter Matzek, Treasurer | Josh Zignego, Secretary
Brian Gunderson, Past Chair | Lindsay Belland | Carmen Colombo | Anu Green | Marissa Kropp
Mike Lyner | Jessica Meletiou | Rajean Moone, PhD | Matthew Salisbury
Clark Schroeder | James Kroening, President & CEO