SLP Outstanding Citizen Award

STEP program manager Julie Lapointe was recognized last week with the Outstanding Citizen award at the St. Louis Park State of the Community for her 25 years of social work in SLP. STEP is very proud to have Julie with us and we congratulate her on this well deserved award!

First STEP Up Breakfast a Success!

On May 2nd, STEP held its first-ever STEP Up Breakfast fundraiser at the Metropolitan Ballroom and it was a tremendous success! We raised over $67,000 with the help of 240 neighbors. The event kicked off with a special welcome from Jenny Jennings of Alotapilates, our generous presenting sponsor.

Alotapilates owners Jenny Jennings, Caryn Coopmans, and Tia Fink-Hartzell were a key part of making our event a success. We were also fortunate to have Rabbi Avi Olitzky of Beth El Synagogue as the emcee of our event. Rabbi Olitzky spoke of the importance of STEP in the community that he has seen firsthand since coming to St. Louis Park.
Guests experienced the debut of the new STEP video, created in partnership with Twin Cities Film Fest. The video illustrated the client experience at STEP so that stakeholders could truly understand the impact STEP is having on neighbors. Many of our staff and volunteers took time out of their busy schedules to help film this video and we are grateful. (You can view the video  here.) Following the video, Jennifer Ortale, STEP board chair, gave an empowering speech about the legacy from neighbors helping her grandfather, who grew up in extreme poverty. She invited neighbors to reflect on the legacy of their support of neighbors through STEP.

The breakfast owed its success to the amazing community of St. Louis Park.
We hope to see you all next year for the 2nd STEP Up Breakfast on May 14th, 2020. If you are interested in sponsoring next year’s breakfast please contact Faith Mainor, 952.208.8769.

 

The success of the STEP Up Breakfast would not have been possible without our sponsors:

Summer Needs at STEP

Kids are almost out of school for the summer! That means STEP will see an increased need due to kids being home during the summer. Can you help us stock up so we can serve our families all summer long? We are in need of more kid-friendly items like cereal, peanut butter, jelly, applesauce, canned fruit (in juice, not syrup) and canned meat. We will also be running out of laundry detergent and dish soap soon. Follow the link to purchase online and have the donation sent right to STEP! Thank you!

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!”