Wish List

Have you ever felt the desire to donate to STEP and just weren’t sure what we needed?  Well, we have a solution to that conundrum!  We have started a Target Wish list that we will be regularly updating with items that are of current need at STEP.
We can usually order basic food staples at a great discount from other sources, but there are many non-food items or specialty items that we cannot source through those options.  If you are looking for ideas on how to support STEP check out and share the wish list.
Thank you!

Volunteer Spotlight

It’s been almost 10 years since Norma Kaplan began volunteering at STEP, and it’s difficult to imagine the Clothes Closet without her.
Norma grew up in Alexandria, Virginia. She received her B.A in Music Education from Indiana University, and has sung in choirs from high school to Oratorio Societies in Washington, DC and Minneapolis; she currently sings with the Twin Cities Jewish Chorale.
Now that she is retired, Norma enjoys traveling, but especially enjoys spending time with her granddaughters here in Minnesota and in Washington, D.C. And she loves to sew!
Norma started volunteering at STEP in the spring of 2008, and she has enjoyed every day since! In her early years at STEP, she co-chaired the Winter Coat Campaign for 4-5 years. She now works every Tuesday morning sorting clothes and every Friday morning staffing the Clothes Closet.
“Volunteering at STEP fulfills a part of me that I do not receive anywhere else, and I feel that I receive back much more than I give. It is truly satisfying to help a guest find an outfit for an interview that afternoon, complete from shoes to skirt and top.
“Many times the social workers will compliment a guest on something they are wearing and are told that the item was found in our Clothes Closet. We are so fortunate to be able to provide good clothing in addition to sustaining families with food. And the atmosphere at STEP is so welcoming, both from staff and volunteers. It is truly a ‘win-win’ for all involved!”

Minnesota March FoodShare

Minnesota FoodShare is a project of Twin Cities faith congregations to stock community food shelves.

 

Since 1983, Minnesota FoodShare has held a March campaign inviting faith communities, businesses, and community organizations to stock the nearly 300 food shelves in Minnesota.

 

In 2017, over $8 million dollars and 4.7 million pounds of food were raised statewide during the March effort. It comes at a crucial time of year, when food donations are low, but the need remains.

 

We invite you to be part of this effort. Options include:

 

  •  Faith community “pack the pews” weekend, with empty grocery bags provided to members to fill.
  •  Workplace food drive contest. Department or employee with the most items wins a prize.
  •  Donations for an employee “jeans day.”
  •  Discount or gift for customers bringing a food or financial donation for STEP.
 
To participate, simply register at mnfoodshare.org/supporter and select STEP under Food Shelf name. We ask that donations be brought to STEP during our regular hours no later than Thursday, April 5. Contact Mari-Claire with any questions at mari@stepslp.org or 952-925-4899 x18.

 

Last year, STEP was recognized as #2 in total donations in the mid-sized food shelf category. With the participation of community groups, workplaces, and faith communities, we can be that top spot in 2018!

Empty Bowls – March 15

STEP’s annual Empty Bowls event will be held on Thursday, March 15, 2018. The event is an opportunity for all ages in community to come together and support efforts to eliminate hunger in St. Louis Park.

WHERE: Westwood Lutheran Church community room,
9001 Cedar Lake Road, St. Louis Park
WHEN: Thursday, March 15, 2018, Lunch (11:30-1:30) & Dinner (5:00-7:30)
WHY: To build awareness of hunger in our community and support efforts to fill empty bowls in St. Louis Park.

Community members of all ages are invited to join together for a simple meal of soup and bread provided by local restaurants for lunch or dinner. The event will include music entertainment and children’s activities. Participants will receive a handmade pottery bowl to take home as a reminder of empty bowls in our community. No tickets or reservations are required. A free-will donation will benefit the programs of the St. Louis Park Emergency Program.

Each year, STEP serves approximately four thousand St. Louis Park residents with nutritional support, clothing, transportation, and emergency rental assistance. STEP has been empowering lives and restoring hope in the city for forty years.

Empty Bowls began nationally in 1990 as a grassroots project of two high school art teachers in Michigan. Due to the low volume of food they were receiving during their food drives, as well as the dwindling interest in the community, they created a way to add excitement and energy to a worthwhile cause. Their students were asked to make ceramic bowls to be used at a luncheon for the school staff. Guests were invited to choose a bowl, were fed a simple meal of soup and bread, and encouraged to make a donation to the local food shelf. Everyone was given their bowl as a reminder of all the “empty bowls” in their community and throughout the world.

Coat Program a Huge Success!

This year we were able to give out a total of 843 coats in the month of October alone!

Thanks to the dedication of our amazing volunteers, the Clothes Closet was transformed into the ultimate shop of winter items throughout the month of October.

Hats, boots, mittens and snow pants filled every rack along with rows and rows of coats.

Thank you to our community for all the donations of winter gear as well as Pilgrim Cleaners for giving us coats through the Coats for Kids program.  We will continue to have winter items available throughout the winter for those still in need.

Thank You Fall Giving Campaign Donors

Thank you to our wonderful community for coming through for us in the 2017 Fall Giving Campaign! Your generosity resulted in a total of $133,193 to help STEP continue to serve the families in our community! Amazing work everyone!

Holiday Toy Drive

STEP collect Holiday toys during October, November and December. There is a new avenue for purchasing toys to donate that are fun and easy to do through Amazon and Target.

For Amazon and Target you can buy your Holiday toy donation online and have it sent directly to STEP! Click on STEP’s Amazon Wish List or STEP’s Target Wish List to be directed to STEP’s page.

Infants/ToddlersColorful toys that stimulate the brain; bouncy seats, trucks, multi-cultural dolls, and building blocks.

Ages 4—7: Toys that encourage creative play; dress-up clothes, Legos, Num Noms, Trolls, Finding Dori, multi-cultural Barbie Holiday dolls.

Ages 8—10Little Live Pets, Legos (Star Wars, Lego Friends, Ghost Busters), Pokemon cards and games, Shrinky Dinks Book (Klutz), Selfie Mic Music Set, Bop it! Game

Ages 11—18Children in this age group will be given gift cards.  Values of $10, $20, and $30 are needed.

Please donate your new toy or gift card no later than December 8th.

To help us better sort toys, attach the retail value of each item you donate.  Purchases in the $20 to $40 range are ideal.  

Please note:  For more ideas, go to our website.  STEP does NOT need stocking stuffers, decorations, make-up, violent toys, balls, or used toys.

Drop your toy donation off at STEP. To help us sort toys, attach the retail value of each item you donate. Purchases in the $15 to $40 range are ideal.

STEP will be accepting toys up to December 12.

Questions? Call Diane at STEP (952) 925-5161, ext 14, or email Diane@STEPslp.org.

Thank you for your generosity!

Please drop off donations during our regular open hours at the back of the building. Pull up in the alley and ring the doorbell. A volunteer will answer, take your donations, and provide you with a receipt. Donations left outside the building when STEP is closed will be considered dumping and be referred to law enforcement. Food, clothing, and other donations are vital to STEP’s mission.

Donation Hours

 

Warm Coats for Winter

Warm Coats for Winter
STEP will have winter coats available throughout October for St. Louis Park children and adults who are in need of one. Come during STEP’s Clothes Closet hours and bring current address verification (a utility bill or lease). Call 952-925-4899 with any questions.

STEP Clothes Closet Hours
Mondays and Wednesdays: 9:00-11:00 am and 1:00-3:00 pm
Tuesdays: 1:00-3:00 pm and 6:00-7:30 pm
Thursdays: 9:00-11:00 am and 1:00-3:00 pm
Fridays: 9:00-11:00 am

 

Winter Coats Donations

If you would like to donate a gently used or new winter coat, please drop off your donation at STEP during our business hours:
Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays:
8:00 am – 4:00 pm
Tuesdays: 12:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Fridays: 8:00 am – 12:00 pm

All ages and sizes of Coats/Jackets* and Accessories are needed.

*Please only warm winter coats–no lightweight jackets or vests.
Accessories especially needed in all sizes: Boots, Gloves, Mittens, Snow Pants

Click here to order via STEP’s Amazon Wish List

Let’s make sure that everyone in St. Louis Park will be warm this coming winter!