"TW is a 20-year-old young woman who has Down Syndrome. She lives with her mother in Austin. She has been a member since the 10th grade but didn't attend a lot of programming because she was busy with school. After graduating high school last year her mom was having some behavioral issues with her. When TW started participating in our Virtual Programs in May 2020 she has since participated in 50 virtual programs including crafts, bingo, trivia, game night, and more. TW has set reminders on her cell phone for each virtual program so she doesn’t miss anything. TW’s mom has told us that she has seemed much happier since having a purpose to get up each day. Her mother quoted, "If it wasn’t for your virtual programs, TW wouldn’t be able to see her friends and have a social life". "
SERVEMINNESOTA - MINNESOTA READING CORPS
“I have a 2nd grader this year who at first struggled to come with me to our 20 minute reading sessions. He would fight with me and just hated reading, and it showed on his scores. One night his mom came to pick him up and asked me how things were going with him. I told the mom I would like to have a sit down with her, my internal coach Paula, and the 2nd grade teacher. At the meeting, I told the mom the frustrations I was having with my student. It turns out, she was having the same issues at home trying to get him to read. She said she can deal with the frustrations, but he shouldn’t be disrespectful to his teachers. The next day, my student came up to me and apologized, even giving me a hug! It was afterwards, my student started putting more effort into our reading sessions, and now slowly his scores are starting to improve. I saw his parents, and they thanked me for not giving up on him, which made me realize how much of an impact I am making on my students.”
Adams Area Ambulance Service
"With our continued funding for up to date training, we are able to keep our members fully trained in CPR and First Aid. On July 3rd 2020, My partner and I were providing coverage for the Stock Car Races in Lansing, MN, in case there was a need for First Aid. Towards the end of the night, frantic spectators and employees began running towards our truck crying and screaming for help. As I grabbed our emergency response bag and AED and ran towards the grandstands, I noticed in the darkness an individual lying on the ground with bystanders performing CPR.
When I got to the Patients side, I noticed that the individual was not breathing and did not have a pulse. I advised the bystander to continue with CPR, while my partner placed the AED pads on the patients chest. After the AED completed analyzing for heart rhythm, the AED stated Shock advised, a shock was then administered with the AED. I then took over with chest compressions for 2 minutes. The AED again analyzed the heart rhythm, with another shock advised. A second shock was delivered to the patient, with CPR continued after the shock. My partner then began CPR, after about the fourth compression of the chest the patient reached up and grabbed her arm.
Brandon (Adams Area Ambulance Service) on right with Cardiac Arrest survivor on left.
CPR was then stopped and patient was then checked for a pulse, with a faint pulse the patient was starting to breath on his own and was becoming more alert. By the time the ambulance and officers arrived on scene, the patient was alert and trying to speak. The patient was then transported to Mayo Clinic Health Systems in Austin, and flown to Saint Mary's in Rochester. The patient was given an implanted pacemaker and was released from the hospital four days later and was back out the race track that Friday night."
RECOVERY IS HAPPENING
“It wasn’t long after Recovery Is Happening was founded that we had volunteer Peer Recovery Specialists, Melissa and Joe, meeting with the inmates in our jail, facilitating recovery groups and connecting them with community-based recovery support upon release. Peer Recovery Specialists are individuals who they themselves are now living a life of active recovery and are uniquely trained to offer peer-to-peer support services aimed at promoting abstinence-based, long-term recovery. They serve as a guide and mentor to those who seek to sustain recovery. Because Melissa and Joe have “been there”, they are often able to connect with inmates on a deeper level, and more quickly, than having not had the same experience. Not only do these jail recovery groups provide and expound on practical new skill sets of recovery, more importantly, it provides a level of support and encouragement that meets the inmate’s need right where they are at in the recovery process.
Some of the services that Recovery Is Happening provides to inmates are assisting them with identifying potential problems, overcoming barriers, sharing their own experience and knowledge about addiction and recovery, and supporting the inmates by listening, motivating, and encouraging.
The connections that are being made between Peer Recovery Specialists and inmates while they are in jail is having a great and lasting impact, and the fruit of that labor is quickly paying off. In less than a year, one former inmate has completed treatment and is on the road to becoming a Peer Recovery Specialists herself. It all started with a simple yet life-changing conversation in a correctional facility. A relationship formed and is still maintained for up to a year (or longer) after getting out of treatment.”
WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT, INC. - WORKFORCE SUCCESS
"We were able to support her with Kwik Trip Gas Cards for the first month of her employment so she could keep her job. Once her paychecks started arriving she no longer needed our assistance. We also helped her revise her resume to reflect her new employment so it was ready when a position opened in Austin that she wanted to apply for so she no longer had to commute and could be closer to her kids while they were in school. We had a woman who had recently obtained employment in Rochester after losing her job in Austin. She was planning on taking the Mayo transit bus to and from work but with the pandemic that service was suspended. She was unable to afford the gas cost for her commute at the beginning of her employment as she had no paychecks coming in."
PARENTING RESOURCE CENTER - CATHERWOOD HOME CHILD CARE
"Our Parent Educator met an incarcerated parent while providing parent education at the Mower County jail. Upon being released, she sought services from the PRC including assistance with our diaper program, Helping Homes, and referrals to other social service agencies for housing and mental health. With an incarcerated boyfriend, she was a single mother with goals of moving her family to a house that was free of bed bugs, with proper furniture, mental health treatment for herself and her children, and stable employment. Once she found stable employment she enrolled her children at Catherwood and has received financial assistance through the United Way Scholarship.
She has stated that she has such pride in being able to provide for her family and pay her bills on time, something that was a struggle for her in the past. She works second shift, so had it not been for Catherwood, she might not have been able to accept the employment, or accepted but placed her children in an unlicensed childcare. We have maintained a relationship with this mother and at times seeks out services from other PRC programs aside from childcare, such as when she tested positive for Covid-19 and we assisted her by delivering groceries to her home. We also helped her furnish her new home by seeking donations from community members, and we truly believe we've played a significant role in providing stability for her and her children. "
IMMIGRANT LAW CENTER OF MINNESOTA
"Win Thi Da came to the United States from Burma with her parents and siblings in 2008 because her parents wanted a better future for their family. They first settled in Hartford, Connecticut, but later moved to Mower County, Minnesota because Win’s dad wanted to live somewhere quieter. Win was in her early twenties when they moved.
After moving to Mower County and having lived in the United States for over 10 years, Win wanted to apply for an N-600 Certificate of Citizenship since her dad naturalized as a U.S. citizen before she turned 18. She heard about the Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota (ILCM) from friends. She contacted our office in 2019, and on the other end of the line was Maylary Apolo. Win said Maylary was very helpful and nice. She appreciated that Maylary regularly checked in with her and let Win know when she received a letter from USCIS confirming Win’s application.
Funding for N-600 cases is very limited because providing the necessary evidence takes time. However, the grant from UWMC provided us funding for Win’s case. Win received her U.S. citizenship certificate in 2020 with the help of Maylary and Sara Karki, saying they “helped with everything I needed.” Win now has the documents she needs to prove herself a citizen for the rest of her life. Currently, Win Thi Da is a stay-at-home mom. She said her naturalization made her and her family feel secure and safe."
."This pandemic was challenging for the whole community, especially to the immigrant community. That is why at the beginning of the pandemic, the Welcome Center launched a campaign to share awareness about COVID-19. We shared with community members the safety rules to follow and encouraged them to wear masks and observe Social Distancing rules. We called several clients to cheer them up and encourage them not to lose hope and to be assured that Welcome Center will keep providing them language support and social services throughout the pandemic. We also went out and distribute free masks to community members in need to help them protect themselves and people around them. Several individuals and families expressed their deep gratitude for Welcome Center actions and support throughout the pandemic
During the pandemic, the Welcome Center also launched a Wellness program called “Move for a better life”. The goal of the program was to keep community members physically active during the pandemic through exercise like jogging, biking or simply walking a half hour a day. Participants to this program were very appreciative of Welcome Center action because the program provided them an opportunity to stay in a good shape, to connect with many other community members and also win a prize at the end of the month when they are one of the top 3 who exercised the most during the month. One of the major roles played by the Welcome Center during the pandemic was distributing food to individuals and families during the pandemic. In collaboration with United Way, Salvation Army and the Senior Center, Welcome Center was able to reach out to several individuals and families who were financially affected by the pandemic. We were moved by the smile on the face of parents and their kids every time we knocked on their door with a box full of food. One happy single mother to whom we delivered a box of foods commented: “We are very grateful for United Way, Salvation Army, Welcome Center and all other organizations involved in this food distribution. Please, say thank you to all of them for the support to my family during this critical time.”"
"Alondra and her sister Violeta have both been in Cub Scouts for two years. They have earned their Bobcat Badge and participate in multiple Cub Scout adventures.
Both girls attended the Day Camp. Even their other sister, not in Scouting, joined in. They had a great time learning about bees and how bee keeping works. They took a nature hike and saw a nest of baby bunny rabbits. They also learned about pollination, different types of fish in the area, how to make a small bow and arrow to shoot q-tips, and even how to play new games with dice. Both girls have never been to a camp before but said they had a great time. When their dad showed up to pick them up, they showed him everything they made and couldn’t stop talking about the day. They even took their dad outside and showed them the plants and flowers they looked at. When asked about what her favorite part of the day was, Violetta said, “going on the hike and seeing the baby rabbits; they were so little. I also like making S’mores. I’ve never made one before.”
"During my first year of tutoring, I started working with a third grade student who moved into my schedule from the school interventionist team. He was very hesitant to leave his group. I only had him as a student for six weeks before his scores skyrocketed and he reached his Reading Corps graduation. When I handed him his graduation letter and ribbon he punched his fist into the air and loudly stated, “I did it!” This young man is now in 6th grade and whenever I run into him at school events or the community, he still asks if I remember working with him and has a hug for me.
When we take a moment of our time to show a student that they are important and that the skills they learn are a big deal, our impact reaches further than just one student. Our students bring their self-assurance back to the classroom, to their peers, to their families, and it reflects in their daily lives."