April 2019 Newsletter

This is the same content that was sent out in the April 2019 newsletter. Click the subheadings to expand the content.

We Welcome Our New Board Chair, Tom Rock

Tom Rock has been General Counsel and Chief Operating Officer of Merced Capital, L.P. since 2005.  Shortly after moving to the Twin Cities in 1987, the United Way’s Management Assistance Project put Tom in touch with Joe Selvaggio, and over an egg salad sandwich at the Swedish American Institute Joe convinced Tom to join the Board of Project for Pride in Living.  Years later when Joe asked Tom to become a member of the MicroGrants Board, Tom eagerly accepted the invitation.  Tom and his wife, Melissa Raphan, believe in the power of people to help themselves, but also in the importance of formal and informal networks to boost us in our trajectories.  Tom has seen firsthand how MicroGrants serves a critical role in allowing people of potential to realize that potential.

Donor Profile: Anna Timmons

Anna Timmons has been a monthly donor to Lights On! almost from the start. After hearing about our program on the local news, she felt like supporting Lights On! was a great way to help her Twin Cities neighbors in need. For Anna, giving a large donation wasn’t possible, but the idea of a smaller monthly commitment felt just right. She is happy to know that her donations have contributed many low-income drivers getting their car lights repaired. She is hopeful and confident that her donations have helped prevent significant financial hardships or even the loss of licenses or jobs, all due to a ticket.

Sherman Reaches Out to Police Departments

Sherman Patterson, MicroGrants board member and volunteer Lights On! leader, has begun meeting with police leaders from departments already involved in Lights On! and from departments interested in joining. So far this year, he has met with 16 departments to educate them about Lights On! and encourage them to participate fully in the program. He has also engaged in meetings designed to gather information about how Lights On! works from a police perspective and how it could be improved. Thank you, Sherman!

Early Grantee Fr. Ronald Johnson Says Thank You

“I was a recipient of one of your thousand-dollar Microgrants a little over ten years ago when I was midway through my years of seminary training at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities. At that time, I was in need of a laptop computer to complete my coursework, as my old one had gone into disuse. Owing to your generosity, I not only got the machine I needed to complete the work, but I was given the launch I needed to fulfill a lifelong dream: that of becoming a priest and a chaplain with seniors. Wedded to this population since my mid teens due to the wisdom and knowledge of its members, not to mention the generally curious and unassuming posture I try to take in my own dealings with folks, I began volunteering with those much older than myself and have never looked back. My studies in history, sociology, philosophy and politics eventually gave way to those in pastoral care, so that in my early forties, I was able to come away with what amounted to a Bachelor’s degree, a couple of Master’s degrees, three units of Clinical Pastoral Education, and ordination as a priest in the Old Catholic Church: a denomination aimed at including all at the Eucharistic table: Catholic and non-Catholic alike. Given the fact that I now serve as chaplain in seven facilities (some of them group homes for seniors and some of them more traditional Assisted Living Facilities), such a position allows me to create a welcoming space for all, and that is truly a gift.

“Another exciting opportunity has been that of combining music and other forms of activity into the programming day. Unique to my work has been the ability to combine spiritual care with the leading of exercise programs, Bingo games, trivia sessions, poetry- and story-writing sessions, sing-alongs, and worship. I once recall a supervisor remarking that the perfect job for me would be a combination of chaplaincy and activities. Well, I believe that with your help, I’ve achieved it. This is my short attempt at saying thank you. To be sure, personal thanks to Fr. Joe Selvaggio are in order, since I met him personally when I received the grant so many years ago. More recently, I met Mike McCloskey and Kristine Barstow by phone, and their kindness to me in encouraging me to tell my story is deserving of mention. Finally, I want to thank Linnea Peterson and Scott Russell for their good efforts taking photos of myself and some of our residents at the Walnut Lodge of Burnsville. Together, we share our many gifts and talents, as we create a place of welcome for all.”

Grantee Spotlights

Business Grantee: Mat

Education Grantee: Barbara

Business Grantee: Lisa

New Partner Agency Contact at Avivo

After a long stint as MicroGrants’ Partner Agency contact at Avivo, Megan Meuli has taken a new position at another great nonprofit. As she leaves, she says, “I love MicroGrants! You have helped so many of our women with getting their cars repaired [and] helping to finance their employment-related training.”

Taking Megan’s place is Shari Hunter. She says, “I am so looking forward to working with MicroGrants to serve our women!”

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An anonymous donor gave gifts in honor of three donors who have recently passed away: Betty Lou Jacobson, David Andreas, and Lucy Hartwell.

Considering leaving a legacy gift to MicroGrants? Contact us at 612-200-8174 or at Kris@microgrants.net.