Thank you

A Look Back at 2019

A Look Back at 2019 851 568 Angelique McDonald

It has been quite a 30th Anniversary Year at Way to Grow!

In 2019, we took a leap and moved into our new home on Irving Avenue North, and we’ve already hosted Cooking Matters courses, Dream Tracks groups, and several staff potlucks. This summer, we even got the help of Little & Company when they chose to design and install a mural in our new playroom!

Our families put a lot of work in this year as well, attending parent groups, Family Engagement Nights, advocacy events, and Parent-Teacher Conferences, all on top of regular home visits. All that work paid off when this fall, 90% of Way to Grow preschoolers were ready for kindergarten and 92% of elementary students showed growth on reading level assessments at the end of last school year. Way to go, families!

We also had another year of successful fundraising with our Spring Luncheon in May and our Annual Shine Celebration just two months ago. Together, those two events raised over $500,000. And we can’t forget Give to the Max Day last month, where we raised over $4,000 for our programming in just 24 hours!

While it has been a year for the record books, we know none of this would have happened without your support. Our children deserve every opportunity to succeed, and thanks to you they are able to do just that! Way to Grow cannot thank all of you enough for your continued generosity and support throughout the past year.

May the next decade be as wonderful as the last three! Happy New Year!


Adopt-A-Family 600 250 Angelique McDonald

What a month! We cannot thank our supporters enough for making Adopt-A-Family a huge success. From individual families to entire departments at Allina Health, hundreds of community members helped make this season bright. Due to this incredible generosity, this year Way to Grow was able to provide gifts for 60 families!

Way to Grow’s Adopt-A-Family program provides gifts for families in need throughout the holiday season. This year, our families received everything from snow pants and quilts to bikes or a holiday tree. Thousands of packages made their way to Way to Grow, leaving our staff in awe of the generosity of so many. We are so grateful to all of our friends who stepped in to help our families. You definitely made the season bright!

A special thanks to our friends at Allina Health and St. Gerard’s for their amazing selflessness year after year—we are so thankful for your partnership. We also want to give a shoutout to our wonderful volunteers from St. Kate’s who came and wrapped all our gifts from the Adopt-A-Family registry!

Our amazing St. Kate’s volunteers!

Shine Celebration 2019

Shine Celebration 2019 1800 1200 Angelique McDonald

Our 30th Anniversary Shine Celebration on October 26, 2019 was an enormous success! Thanks to the support of our generous donors and our extraordinary volunteers and staff, Way to Grow raised over $400,000!

The 2019 Shine Celebration was a bedazzled evening of spectacular moments. The stars were out that night, with incredible performances by Jamecia Bennett, Dennis Spears, and T.Mychael Rambo peppered throughout the evening. One particular highlight was a performance by T.Mychael and our very own Way to Grow children—they were a smash! With a storybook song written just for us, T.Mychael positively mesmerized the audience while sharing the 30-year history of Way to Grow.

We were also delighted to welcome special guest speaker, Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan to our celebration. During her keynote, she spoke about the importance of early education and the access for all children in the community. She also discussed how Way to Grow’s model has proven to be successful and stressed how education should be part of all that we do to support families and children in our communities.

One touching moment that stuck with us was listening to Bryanna Lopez, a Way to Grow alumna. Bryanna was joined on stage by her father, and spoke eloquently about how her family’s time with Way to Grow set them up for success by changing how they approached education as a family. Now a college sophomore studying bio engineering, we couldn’t be more proud!

The excitement ramped up with a Live Auction event that boasted trips to Scottsdale and Tuscany, great tickets to sporting events, and more. The money raised set the tone for a night of incredible generosity. Hundreds of guests showed amazing support all evening. Through donations of all sizes, live and silent auctions, and event sponsorships, we were able to raise over $400,000. Wow!

We at Way to Grow want to express our gratitude for all who came and supported our mission during our 30th Anniversary Shine Celebration. Thank you and we will see you in 2020!

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