Volunteerism Provides Opportunities for Stillwater Area Girls

FamilyMeans Volunteers

Carly Johnson, Jessica Schiemann, Ella Snyder, and Madeline and Caitlin Kovacich are all daughters of current FamilyMeans’ employees. Carly, Jessica, Ella, Madeline, and Caitlin are also FamilyMeans’ volunteers.

Carly began volunteering with the agency about two years ago, and shares her time with participants in the Day Out! program, which provides respite care for family caregivers while their loved ones enjoy activities onsite at FamilyMeans for four hours each Friday.

“As a volunteer I have gained a deeper understanding of myself and the world around me,” said Carly, 18, a senior at Stillwater Area High School, who is involved in debate and speech. “It is neat how one simple act of kindness can make someone’s day.”

Jessica has volunteered for the agency’s annual volunteer picnic two different years. “After my first time volunteering, I felt I knew everyone and was welcomed back with open arms,” she said. “It’s nice to see how being helpful touches others, and it’s fun.”

A sophomore at Park High School in Cottage Grove, Jessica, 15, is active in her church youth group and enjoys the mission trips and volunteering with them, as well. She hopes to become a special education teacher in her future.

Ella has volunteered at FamilyMeans’ events including the annual Power of the Purse; she has also become a familiar face greeting attendees during the annual St. Croix Garden Tour. At 14, she is an eighth grader at St. Croix Preparatory Academy.

“Volunteering is fun. I feel like I’m making a difference in the community and helping raise money for FamilyMeans,” said Ella, who also enjoys writing, playing piano, and volleyball.

Madeline and Caitlin have both volunteered with the annual St. Croix Garden Tour, too. Madeline has served as a greeter and ticket seller, and Caitlin has played the role of photographer the past couple of years. The girls, along with Ella, have also assisted with mailings throughout the year.

“I like being able to help out,” said Caitlin, 7, a second grader at Valley Crossing Community School in Woodbury. Added Madeline, 10, and a fifth grader at the same school, “It’s important to help others and it’s a fun way to meet new people.”

Both competitive dancers in tap, jazz and production, Madeline wants to be a school teacher or dance teacher when she grows up, and Caitlin desires to become a children’s book illustrator. And both girls, along with Carly, Jessica and Ella, plan to continue to volunteer.

To learn more about volunteer opportunities at FamilyMeans, call (651) 439-4840.