Transportation Needs

We are looking for individuals to provide transportation for clients to/from medical appointments OR to/from STEP for food shelf appointments. Volunteers who can commit to providing two or more rides per month for at least twelve months is preferred. Volunteer hours are flexible and dependent on client appointment times Most medical rides are within Hennepin County. Last year, STEP Volunteer Drivers provided over a thousand rides to seniors and homebound individuals. This program provides volunteers with a unique opportunity to interact with individuals of varied ages, ethnic backgrounds and abilities.     

Prospective volunteers must be able to pass a MN BCA background check and MN Driver’s record check, provide their own vehicle and possess a current Driver’s License and Auto Insurance.

Please contact STEP’s Volunteer Coordinator if you are interested in this volunteer opportunity:

Mari-Claire Dart

mari@STEPslp.org

952-925-4899 ext. 1800

Julie Lapointe – Building Relationships for 25 years

In January of 1994 Julie Lapointe packed up and moved from Iowa to Minnesota with her sights set on graduate school. Needing a job she opened the paper and there she saw a tiny ad, for a temporary social worker. Julie recognized that STEP represented the true values of social work.

Twenty-five years later, Social Worker and Program Manager Julie continues her work at STEP and has see it transition and grow. She has worked in four different buildings, seen an increase from four staff members to eleven, and played an integral part in developing the programs that STEP offers today.

Julie shared that, “seeing how the power of relationships instills hope in people’s lives,” is what she enjoys most about STEP. In addition to the relationships with her clients, Julie also enjoys the relationships she has with the volunteers and her colleagues. “Staff stability is so important,” says Julie, “to ensure the longevity of an organization.”

When asked what Julie most wanted people to know about STEP, the first thing she said was, “STEP impacts lives in a meaningful way. Social work can be limited in many fields because of insurance reimbursement, agency and government policies, and an organization’s values and mission. STEP values the dignity and individual worth of people first and foremost, despite operating with fewer resources than many organizations.

When she is not at STEP, Julie enjoys kickboxing, gardening, and going on garage sale adventures. Thank you Julie for your 25 years of service to STEP and the St. Louis Park community!

Meet STEP’s Newest Social Worker

Jackie received her Bachelor’s in Social Work from Minnesota State University Moorhead. Over the past four years, she has worked to support a better quality of life for the refugee community in Fargo with a focus on unaccompanied minors, elders, and families. Jackie is driven by social justice and advocacy. She strives to meet people where they are at and help provide them with the tools needed to thrive in their community.

Jackie is passionate about working with diverse populations and helping others in need. Jackie was drawn to STEP’s underlying purpose of building relationships with clients and helping people feel empowered. Jackie is excited to be at STEP and looks forward to getting to know everyone.

Jackie recently adopted two cats named Bellatrix and Luna. She is enjoying being a cat mom, exploring the area to find the best local coffee shops, and hanging out with friends. Jackie hopes to brush up on her Spanish with Spanish speaking clientele as well as learn conversational skills in the other languages spoken by STEP clients.

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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

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

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!”