Support for Families Comes from Miles Away
With his well-trained collie Duke at his side, John Oakland sat at a large table at FamilyMeans talking with Arba-Della Beck, the agency’s president during a visit to Minnesota in August.
John was involved with FamilyMeans for a number of years and even served on the agency’s board of directors from 1988 to 1994. More than a decade ago, after retiring from his 33-year career at 3M, he and his wife moved to Arkansas and, despite the 900-miles that separates the two states, the Oaklands continue to financially support FamilyMeans.
“When you’re enthused about an organization it’s hard to let it go,” said John, who became familiar with FamilyMeans when a 3M colleague suggested he should get involved. “FamilyMeans employs great people who are talented and creative in working to solve the community needs and sense when those needs are changing.”
John had recently begun his volunteer commitment with FamilyMeans when the first St. Croix Garden Tour took place 21 years ago, and he was on the board when FamilyMeans began working with youth in Landfall in 1993.
John hasn’t slowed his pace in his retirement years; instead, he’s had roles as a storm chaser, farm hand, and firefighter in addition to his love of aviation for the past 47 years. As a pilot, John has logged more than 2,500 hours of flight. He also enjoys spending time with his grown children and grandchildren. The support for FamilyMeans received from the Oaklands — despite the many miles — continues to have an impact on the programs and services that help strengthen families in their times of need.