The Gift of Hope

The Gift of Hope

The Gift of Hope 150 150 Ivy Marsnik

With the spirit of giving upon us, we owe many thanks to the members of this phenomenal Twin Cities community that have gone above and beyond to support 35 families this year. For several years, The Church of St. Gerard and employees of Allina Health have supported Way to Grow families through our holiday Adopt-a-Family program. From winter gear and snow shovels, to plates, blankets, Tupperware, and fun toys for kids, each family in this program creates a wish list to ensure they get just what they need.

“Last year, I’ll never forget, a mother had her car broken into just weeks before Christmas,” Ronel Robinson, program director at Way to Grow recalls. “After repairing her car, she couldn’t afford to replace the car seat, which essentially left her unable to drive since she almost always had her little one in her care. Her Allina team got together and purchased her a new car seat to replace the one that had been stolen. She could hardly believe her eyes!”

Though 35 families greatly benefit from our Adopt-a-Family program each year, many families we serve still have basic needs that often go unmet. However, thanks to our friends at Little, even more of our families will receive a little love this holiday season.

This year, Little, a local design and branding agency, collected over $500 worth of household necessities through their annual employee drive. These items are sorted and assembled into care packages for Way to Grow families. The packages include many items most of us consume without a second thought including toothpaste, diapers, socks, laundry soap, paper towels, and cleaning supplies.

These items always have a tremendous impact on our families. Lisa, a young mother of a beautiful two-year-old, is struggling to make ends meet while also coping with the recent loss of her mother. Her support system as she knew it is gone, and both physically and emotionally, she feels alone.

“I’ve been worried about Lisa, so I give her a call almost every day just to see how things are going. Last week, I stopped by to deliver a basic needs care package to Lisa. It was the first time I’ve seen her smile in months,” Carmen, a Way to Grow family educator says. “It brought me such joy to see her smile. I know it’s hard. What she’s going through isn’t easy. But what I saw in that moment was pure love and hope.”

These gifts, big and small, mean the world to our families who are continuously amazed by the generosity of their neighbors. For people like Lisa, it serves as a reminder that there are people out there in our community that care, and that those people are willing to help.

Thank you to all of those working with us to deliver the gift of hope this holiday season.

If you are interested in learning more about our Adopt-a-Family program or how you can help, please contact Ronel Robinson at or 612-874-4740.

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