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Hey Twins Fans!

Hey Twins Fans! 150 150 Ivy Marsnik

Ever dreamed of throwing out the first pitch at a Twins game? Here’s your chance!

United Way is fielding an all-star team of 100,000 volunteers this year to strike out poverty in this community. Get off the bench and volunteer!

Sign up online between July 7-16 and you could win the chance to throw out the first pitch at the Twins-Yankees game on Sunday, July 26, as well as tickets for the game for you and three of your devoted fans.

Other great prizes for game day are a set of four seats in the Thomson Reuters Champions Club and 10 pair of tickets for other seats. There will be tons of fun Twins prize gear at the game for those who commit to volunteering on their mobile devices. There are a lot of winners in this game!

Volunteering through United Way is a winning experience, too. It’s fun, a great way to make personal and professional connections, and it increases your visibility and that of your organization. You can pick the projects that appeal to you and volunteering always hits a home run for our community.

Take a step toward the pitcher’s mound at Target Field: Commit to volunteering gtcuw.org/twins today!

With a Little Help from our Friends

With a Little Help from our Friends 150 150 Way to Grow

On Friday afternoon, a group of volunteers helped install our new Preschool PALS location on the campus of Urban Ventures in South Minneapolis. It was tough for everyone not to get distracted by all the fun books and games, but we managed to assemble, sort, and install most everything we’ll need. Thanks especially to the young gents from the Phi Kappa Sigma Fraternity at the University of Minnesota.

This preschool, titled P.A.L.S. (Parent-Child Activities Lead to School Readiness), will have a particular focus on getting parents involved in their child’s preschool education. The room next to the preschool will be home a lending library for books and other resource geared toward parents.

A Very Special Visitor

A Very Special Visitor 150 150 Way to Grow

This week, we had a surprise visit from Beverly Propes. Ms. Propes was a member of the team at the Greater Twin Cities United Way that was instrumental in helping launch Way to Grow 25 years ago. A licensed school nurse, she is now a wellness consultant with Minneapolis Public Schools and a member of the board of directors of the Givens Foundation for African American Literature.

So great to see you Beverly! What a way to kick off our 25th Anniversary year!

Homework Kits from PricewaterhouseCoopers

Homework Kits from PricewaterhouseCoopers Way to Grow

A team from PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP recently volunteered their time to prepare homework kits for our families. These donated school supplies will help create an environment for learning in our families’ homes.

Thanks for your support, PWC!

The Generosity of General Mills

The Generosity of General Mills 150 150 Way to Grow

On Friday, December 6th, the External Relations Division of General Mills delivered hats, mittens, and books for our Way to Grow families. They also spent part of the afternoon helping build capacity through a variety of volunteer projects. Team members prepared games and curriculum tools for our home visiting kits, helped sort books for our family libraries, and participated in a marketing brainstorming session.

The staff and leadership of General Mills has supported Way to Grow for over 20 years. Thanks for being Way to Grow heroes!

AT&T Provides $20,000 Contribution to DreamTracks™Program

AT&T Provides $20,000 Contribution to DreamTracks™Program 150 150 Way to Grow

AT&T recently announced a $20,000 contribution to Way to Grow. Way to Grow will use the funds to support its DreamTracks program, which helps educate and prepare parents ages 15 – 21 for success by addressing parenting, motivational empowerment, academic engagement, career capability, and sexual health.

Ronel Robinson, Program Director; Paul Weirtz, President of AT&T Minnesota; Carolyn Smallwood, Executive Director


“DreamTracks participants learn about prenatal care, child care, parenting skills, life skills, and setting academic and career goals,” said Carolyn Smallwood, Executive Director for Way to Grow. “We’re grateful that a company such as AT&T supports our efforts and understands how important it is to help teen mothers and their children.”

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Donations from the Kids in Need Foundation

Donations from the Kids in Need Foundation 150 150 Way to Grow

Way to Grow was a recent recipient of a generous donation from the Kids in Need Foundation. The Kids in Need Foundation ensures that every child is prepared to learn and succeed by providing free school supplies nationally to students most in need.  Last week our Family Educators made a trip to the Kids in Need Resource Center and then helped deliver books and other supplies to our Way to Grow families. And just look at all the smiles!

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Sharing the Love

Sharing the Love 150 150 Way to Grow

In this time of being giving we like to extend our gratitude to the many organizations whose donations of in-kind goods and services create that special, warm feeling in the hearts of our families.

 Below is just a small sampling of the great people who go the extra mile to support our work.

Allina Health Care

Allina’s Adopt a Family Program has been supporting Way to Grow for over a decade. It is a voluntary, employee-led program, in which different departments at Allina facilities “adopt” families during the holiday season.

Over fifty Way to Grow families provide the departments with a wish list of needed items for the coming year and the employees then use their own money to purchase the goods. Collecting everything from coats and diapers, to bikes and cookware, the departments go out of their way to try to get everything on the list. And, ninety-nine times out of a hundred, they do!

“It’s truly enjoyable to know that in this season of giving, we’re providing a warm feeling in the hearts of so many families” Candice Washington, Allina’s Adopt a Family Coordinator said.

We thank everyone at Allina Health Care and Candice Washington for their generosity in helping out so many of our families in this time of need.

Bundles of Love
One woman’s labor of love has grown into the nonprofit organization, Bundles of Love. This volunteer-led group sews and knits blankets, hats, and mittens, primarily for newborns, and delivers them to organizations for distribution to those in need.

Once a month, Way to Grow’s “bundles of love” arrive with over fifteen bags of clothing, all sewn by hand with incredible detail. This quality clothing is a huge help for our families, especially as those chilly, winter winds begin to blow.

Way to Grow thanks Bundles of Love for their continued support of our organization.

St. Gerard’s

St. Gerard’s Angel Tree program literally makes wishes come true. Each year during the holiday season, Way to Grow families provide three wishes to share with St. Gerard’s, a local Catholic Church, who then puts the wishes as little angels on a tree.

Church patrons choose an angel and volunteer to fulfill the wishes of the families, purchasing gifts such as cookware, bikes, tool sets, and more basic items such as clothes and housewares. The families are overwhelmed year after year, as everything on their wish list comes true, fully wrapped, and in time for the holidays.

We would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to St. Gerard’s for making the holidays extra special for our families.

*These great organizations and all our donors continue to have a tremendous impact on Way to Grow families.

In 2012, we’ve served over 2,000 children and families and are on track to complete over 10,000 home visits by the end of the year. We could not perform this great work without your support.

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