FamilyMeans November Newsletter

FamilyMeans November Newsletter

Nov 06, 2023


We have been enjoying an action-packed Fall at FamilyMeans! Mental Health Therapists are back in school buildings providing support to students and staff, youth at Cimarron and Landfall are enjoying fieldtrips and after-school programming, caregivers and care receivers have stayed busy with fall-themed programs and individuals and families are learning how to make ends meet in this time of increased inflation.

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

In This Issue:

Caregiving and Aging Banner

November is National Family Caregiver Month

The CDC reports that 23.5% of Minnesota adults 45 years or older are caregivers.

By celebrating National Family Caregiver Month, FamilyMeans Caregiving & Aging hopes to lift-up the many types of caregiving that are in our communities. We want to raise awareness of family caregivers and also caregiving to friends and neighbors. Caregivers often do many things that may include cooking, cleaning, transportation to appointments, medication management, bathing, companionship and so much more. Caregivers may experience fatigue, isolation, stress and sometimes their own medical hardships.

FamilyMeans can provide educational opportunities, support and assistance to help caregivers thrive, not just survive. Our Caregiving & Aging staff provides coaching and consulting, education, support groups, respite care and dementia empowerment services.

Please contact FamilyMeans Caregiving & Aging if you are a caregiver and would like to know what tools, services and supports are available for you.

If you are looking to support a caregiver you know, here are some easy ways to reach out to them:

  • Be available to just listen as a friend
  • Pick up needed items at the store – especially if it is snowing
  • Offer to help drive to an appointment
  • Call often to have adult conversations about anything other than caregiving
  • Help with a project—it’s always easier to do things with someone else’s encouragement
  • Take them out to lunch, a movie or walk in good weather
  • Run errands—dry cleaning, pharmacy, library, pick up/return items, buy stamps
  • Surprise them with their favorite coffee/tea/treat
  • Do an activity/invite back to your house, so the caregivers can have time alone to recharge
  • Bring over a meal, eat together and help with the dishes
  • Send a card and let them know you are thinking of them today
  • Encourage them to contact FamilyMeans Caregiving & Aging for support and information

Happy National Family Caregiver Month from FamilyMeans.
Look for the November Caregiver table display in our main lobby celebrating ALL wonderful caregivers!

Are you a caregiver? Display

Youth Development Banner

Youth Development Program Celebrates 30 Years in Landfall

The city of Landfall, Minnesota is a 300+ mobile home community situated on the western border of Washington County. FamilyMeans' commitment to Landfall began in 1992 when we conducted a needs assessment to identify community issues and concerns. After learning that residents’ primary concerns were juvenile crime and the lack of youth programs, the following year FamilyMeans obtained funding to hire a community organizer who launched our first, and still continuing youth programs.

Thirty years later, our presence in Landfall has not diminished. In 2022, The Investigation Station, which serves youth ages 5-11, saw a 37% increase in participants from the year prior. The Teen Center, which serves those 12-18, had a 100% increase in participants, with most engaging in our "Ready To Be" program which supports youth through homework and tutoring, as well as visits to local colleges to prepare for post-secondary life. Looking ahead, FamilyMeans staff are excited to see these numbers keep rising and to continue the strong relationship with the community in Landfall.

Youth Development Manager, Jaime Staska, says "FamilyMeans is continuing to adapt to meet the needs of Landfall youth, asking what is next on the horizon, and centering on our mission: equipping youth to learn, thrive, connect, and contribute throughout their lives."

On October 25, FamilyMeans Youth Development staff and participants held a 30th anniversary celebration at the Landfall Community Center. It was a fun-filled night with games, crafts, great conversations, and more! Thank you to those in the Landfall community, past and current volunteers, staff, and youth participants for making it a great night.

30th Anniversary celebration picture wall
30th Anniversary celebration
30th Anniversary celebration kids at table

Financial Solutions Banner

Financial Solutions Offering Online Pre-Purchase Homebuyer Workshop

A guide to home ownership logo image In May of this year, FamilyMeans Financial Solutions achieved certification from the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to administer multiple housing counseling services. We understand that purchasing or renting a home is not an easy task. Our goal is to help guide you on the path towards housing stability.

To prepare you for your homebuying process, we offer an online pre-purchase homebuyer workshop, "Make Your Move". This 6-hour course is designed to walk you through all the stages of the homebuying process. Topics include:

  • Preparing for homeownership
  • Budgeting and money management
  • Types of loans
  • Purchase procedures
  • Down payment assistance

Upon completion of this course, participants will receive a certificate of completion and may need this for some homebuyer assistance programs

For questions or information regarding our housing counseling services, please visit or call 651-789-4014.

Visit The Course

Counseling and Therapy Banner

Tips to Combat the "Winter Blues"

Winter Snow Flakes The days are getting shorter and the temperature is starting to get colder. With these changes, the winter season often brings a feeling of sadness to millions around the world. In children and adults, it is very common to feel a change in mood and energy levels during the winter months. Shorter days mean less sunlight, causing internal clocks to get off. This can affect sleeping habits and energy levels. In addition, chilly temperatures often mean staying inside and swaying from regular schedules. And, if done frequently, can negatively affect mental health. Our Counseling & Therapy team have come up with some helpful tips to combat the "Winter Blues":

Exercise: Keeping active is very important. If you can brave the outdoors to get your daily 60 minutes of movement that is even better!

Eat Healthy: A balanced diet is key in keeping a healthy body, and that affects the mind! Be sure to stay away from sweets, and choose fruits or vegetables.

Use Lights to Mimic Sun: Turn on lights when getting up in the morning and keep a brightly lit home throughout the day. You can also purchase specialized lamps that provide a glow to give you/your child a daily dose of sunshine.

Stay Social: Attending school, work, and social obligations can seem like a pain on frigid winter days, but getting out of the house, conversing with peers, and staying active can help to combat depression.

Open Up: Talk to your partner, family, or friends about how you are handling the winter and feelings you are having. They may be feeling the same way and you can help each other work through it.

Fun at Home: Getting snowed in is a perfect excuse for family time. Plan a movie night or work on a home project. Don’t feel trapped inside, instead find ways to have fun together!

Next Generation Council Supports FamilyMeans with Townie Tuesday Event

On Tuesday, October 3, the Next Generation Council invited the community to Townie Tuesday at Lift Bridge Brewery in Stillwater! Townie Tuesday is hosted by Lift Bridge Brewery on most Tuesdays, with the goal of raising funds for local nonprofits. Each week, a new nonprofit is chosen and $1 of every pint (beer and rootbeer) supports that agency.

Over the years, FamilyMeans has had the support of Andersen Corporation to match each dollar donated to FamilyMeans at this event. Lake Elmo based food truck, The Smug Pug, joined our event for the third year in a row, providing the community with delicious meals. It was a beautiful evening to enjoy great food, beverages, raffle baskets, and more! A special thanks to all who participated, and thank you to the community for helping us raise nearly $2,000 in support of agency programming!

The FamilyMeans Next Generation Council (Next Gen) is compromised of young adult up-in-coming leaders. Members of this group share a passion for philanthropy, and are between the ages of 21 and 35, and spend their free time helping to further the agency's mission. Interested in learning more? Contact Melena at or 651-789-4029.

Winner of Gift Basket
Getting food at food truck
Posing with Lift Bridge sign
Eating at a picnic table

Get Involved with Family Means Get Involved with Family Means

Please Consider an End-Of-Year Gift in Support of FamilyMeans!

Donate Online Winter Clothing Drive Angel Fund

Turkey Trot 5K The River Valley Athletic Club is hosting their annual Turkey Trot 5k fun run on Thanksgiving morning. Proceeds from the run will support FamilyMeans programming! Participants can run, jog, or walk the 5k which begins at the athletic club right across the street from FamilyMeans.

Strollers and leashed dogs are welcome!.

Address: 1826 Northwestern Ave, Stillwater, MN.

Cost: $30 early bird before 11/14 OR $40 after 11/14.

All registrants receive a RACE SHIRT!

How do I register? IN PERSON at River Valley Athletic Club

Save the Date! Better is Possible FamilyMeans Fundraiser THursday April 4, 2023 JX Venue Stillwater

FamilyMeans will be closed on Nov 23, Nov 24, Dec 25, Dec 26, Jan 1

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

1875 Northwestern Ave S | Stillwater, Minnesota 55082
651 439 4840 |

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