Equally as important as our commitment to building a vibrant learning community is our commitment to our values: Curiosity, generosity, and growth. It was with our second value in mind that we decided to gift our team with donations to charities of their choosing this holiday season. At our holiday celebration, each of us went around and explained what our charity of choice meant to us and why we wanted to contribute to their efforts.
These are the stories we shared:
St. David’s Center for Child & Family Development | Selected by Stiles Anderson
St. David’s Center is near and dear to my family’s heart. We’ve been fortunate to have our three kids attend their exceptional preschool. But more than that, St. David’s offers onsite and at-home programs for children and their families dealing with physical disabilities, learning disabilities, development disorders, and mental health challenges. “Building relationships that nurture the development of every child and family” is the mission St. David’s has leaned into and lived up to for over 50 years … truly a remarkable place.
Children’s Hospital | Selected by Kolina Cicero
I chose to donate to Children’s Hospital in honor of my brother, Matthew, who was born with a congenital heart disease. My family and I spent much of the first two years of his life at Children’s while he underwent multiple open-heart surgeries, a seizure, a 30-day coma, and months of rehabilitation. My donation went to the hospital’s heart program in hopes that other families will be blessed with the incomparable care we received.
Northside Boxing Club | Selected by Nate Garvis
Started by restaurateur Ryan Burnet, the Club occupies an old firehouse in North Minneapolis and opens its doors to young adults who need a safe place to get fed, get clothed, connect to themselves and their community, and learn lifelong skills so they can live a long life. Studio/E is all about possibilities and too many of these kids face a life where they can’t see positive possibility in front of themselves, and I want to contribute to changing that.
Phakamani Foundation | Selected by Lori Hall
The Phakamani Foundation will forever be dear to my heart as an organization. They provide micro-loans to women in South Africa so they can start small enterprises. While in South Africa, I was inspired by the strength and courage of the women who Phakamani has been helping with their micro-finance model. These women aren’t looking for a hand-out, just a simple hand-up, and this organization is providing that for them.
RedRover | Selected by Tawnee Rebhuhn
I chose to donate to Red Rover, an emergency safety net for animals, which responds to natural disasters with pop-up shelters and rescue, and provides housing for pets whose families are seeking safety in cases of domestic violence. Anyone who knows me knows that my pets are family. I am so grateful to know that, in the face of unfathomable pain and crises, this organization exists to ensure families have the resources needed to keep themselves safe and rebuild their lives – together.
Corner of Kindness | Selected by Zoe Vossen
I choose Corner of Kindness because of their wholistic approach to animal protection. They supply food, toys, beds, medical assistance, and more to foster families so all they have to focus on is loving their new family member and ensuring the dog has a comfortable transition into the home. They truly understand and embrace that foster families often need the dog as much as the dog needs them.
Secondhand Hounds | Selected by Andy Whisney
Dogs – and all animals, really – have a special place in my heart. As a proud owner of a 14 1/2 year-old Golden Retriever, I have experienced first-hand the cognitive and personal benefits of owning a dog. I believe it is my duty as a human being to repay those feelings in whatever way I can. It’s my dream to one day open a dog shelter/sanctuary and adopt and let roam free as many dogs as possible. In the meantime, I chose Secondhand Hounds because not only are they incredibly motivating, they’re also one of many local organizations who I believe are doing some of the best in this space.
Ronald McDonald House Charities | Selected by Tom Wiese
My wife’s sister Laurie died of Leukemia at age five, and her parents essentially lived at the hospital for many months during the ordeal. Out of grief and a desire to help others in that awful situation, her parents and other parents of children they met at the hospital helped create the Ronald McDonald House. Today, the Ronald McDonald House Charities serve over 5,000 families at four Twin Cities locations. This charity is close to my family’s, and therefore my, heart.
Whether it is time or love or financial contributions, we hope your giving is as joyful as ours has been this season. Happy holidays!