Meet STEP’s New Development Director

STEP now has a new Development Director! Below she shares a little about herself and why she’s happy to be at STEP.

 

My name is Faith Mainor and I am the new Development Director for STEP. I am so excited to be at STEP and back in Minnesota where I grew up. I am originally from Eden Prairie, I moved to Denver in 2007 to attend college and start my career in the nonprofit sector. I have recently relocated back to Minneapolis to accept the position here at STEP and start a family with my husband Ben.

 

I’ve had a passion for the nonprofit sector since I was young, and my parents introduced me volunteering. After I graduated from high school I took a year off and traveled to Kenya to work in a children’s orphanage. It was a life changing experience and I realized that I wanted to spend my career working in the nonprofit sector. When I returned home I moved to Denver to start school. Over the years I have worked in many different positions throughout the nonprofit sector which has only enforced my passion for nonprofit work.

 

When I saw the job posting for a development director at STEP I knew I wanted the job and applied right away. I was drawn to STEP’s mission and the overwhelming support STEP receives from the community in donations and volunteer time. I’m very happy to be here and I look forward to meeting all of you in the coming months.

STEP Remodel

STEP’s remodeling project is virtually done!  Worn out carpet was replace with carpet tiles in the hallway and brand-new modern flooring was installed in the community room. We now have three additional work spaces including an office for the newly created Development Director position and social work intern/volunteer office!

We are grateful for all who supported STEP in this exciting process! Costs were contained by donations of time and/or materials from the following supporters: Carl Robertson, Ungerman Inc.Shaughnessy Flooring, Brian Hayes, and Electrical Design & Engineering.

 

STEP seeks city’s partnership in collaborative resource center

Aligned with STEP’s 2018 Strategic Plan, the staff and Board of Directors of STEP have approached the St. Louis Park City Council with a proposed vision for a collaboration. The vision is for a place for residents to come to be connected to city, STEP, and other vital services. It would allow STEP to enhance and expand its current offerings.

As the process develops, updates will be posted here.

January 2019: STEP presentation to city council

Empty Bowls is February 28

STEP’s annual Empty Bowls event will be held on Thursday, February 28, 2019. The event is an opportunity for all ages in community to come together and support efforts to eliminate hunger in St. Louis Park. It is presented by our lead sponsor, Citizens Independent Bank.

WHERE: Westwood Lutheran Church community room,
9001 Cedar Lake Road, St. Louis Park
WHEN: Thursday, February 28, 2019, 11:30-1:30 & 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.

STEP serves St. Louis Park residents with nutritional support, clothing, transportation, homelessness prevention, and professional social worker services. STEP has been empowering lives and restoring hope in the city for over forty years.

Further updates will be posted on the Facebook event page.

Photo by Vanessa Driscoll

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.

Charity Navigator & Charities Review Council

We’ve received a 4 star rating from Charity Navigator! This means we’re accountable, transparent, and financially healthy! Check out our Charity Navigator profile to learn more!
https://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We also meet the standards for the Charities Review Council. Check out our Charities Review Council page by clicking on https://smartgivers.org/organizations/st-louis-park-emergency-program/ 

Open Volunteer Positions

Have you been looking for a way to give back to the community?  Try volunteering at STEP!
We currently have positions listed below that are open and we would
like to fill them as soon as possible.
Wednesday Clothes Closet volunteer: 9 a.m.-11 a.m.
Wednesday and Thursday warehouse volunteer: 8-12 p.m.

Must be able to volunteer long term at least 6 months.

Contact Mari for questions and information on how to apply.
Can’t volunteer yourself?  Pass along the information to your
 friends or family!  


Reviews Needed!

Help future donors, volunteers, and clients find STEP by reviewing us online! STEP gains visibility and credibility with your authentic online reviews. Once we get enough reviews, STEP will be recognized with a Great Nonprofits Badge.  Several foundations STEP has approached value nonprofits that have gotten this distinction.
Any donor, volunteer, or client is invited to review STEP at 
You can also review STEP
Thank you!

Empty Bowls Event Thank You

A big thank you to all who helped make Thursday’s Empty Bowls event a success! We couldn’t have done it without the sponsors, the donors, the volunteers, the planning committee, the performers, community partners, and everyone who came together to address food insecurity in our community.

Over 1,000 community members raised over $26,000 to support STEP programs that empower lives and restore hope.

 

 

Picture courtesy of Pop Deluxe Photography

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!”