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Past Volunteer Spotlights

Dana Baker

volunteer of the month photo

This month we want to spotlight our new intern, Dana Baker. Dana observes everything going on around her and she is thorough with every task that she is presented. The staff and residents love having her around!

Dana shares:

I grew up in a small town in northern Minnesota. I am 21 and currently a Junior at Minnesota State University, Mankato in the social work department. I recently transferred there from the University of Illinois so that I could be closer to home. In the future I would like to work for child protective services.

I am currently doing my field hours for my department at Ruth's House. I knew little about Ruth's House going into my internship; however, from my experience so far everyone there is professional and does their best to serve one another. I am proud that I am able to do what I can to be a part of the organization.

Gary Lee

volunteer of the month photo

Gary Lee is our volunteer spotlight for this month. He has been helping out at Ruth's House for a few years now. He helps year round with mowing, snow removal, small repairs, and garage organization. Gary is a huge blessing to our organization!

Gary writes: Thank you for choosing me for the Volunteer Spotlight. I am 48, married, and the father of two high school age children. We live in Dundas, MN. I am an electrician and machine builder for a pex water pipe manufacturer in Apple Valley, MN. I love to build things and I am an avid woodworker.

I chose Ruth’s House to be a volunteer for a couple of reasons. One to give back to the local community, and secondly, to do anything I can to help people in need get back on their feet. Ruth’s House is a great resource and is so helpful to the individuals and families that utilize it’s programs. Thank you.

Brenna Gardner

volunteer of the month photo

This month we are celebrating our volunteer spotlight Brenna Gardner. Brenna is the daughter of our staff, Casi, and she has been a huge help to Ruth's House. Not only does she volunteer for childcare on Wednesday evenings while the women attend a healthy cooking class but she also helps out occasionally at the Outreach office with cleaning, sorting donation envelopes for our newsletter, Gala prep, or whatever else we need. She is smart and funny and we love having her around.

My name is Brenna, and I am 16 years old. I am getting ready to start my junior year at the Faribault High School this fall. I have a passion for taking care of children and ministering to people, and because of that I plan to go to college to become an OB nurse after high school. I have lots of brothers and sisters, a yellow lab named Gracie, and a tuxedo kitty named Jasper who loves to pounce on me in the mornings, even though he’s well aware that I’m NOT a morning person! (I think that’s why he does it!)
I volunteer to help care for the children so the moms can learn new skills to better care for themselves, their kids, and their families. Some of the younger children have a harder time separating from their moms, so I work with them to be more comfortable with that so they’ll be ready for daycare when their moms find jobs. I enjoy playing games with the kids, watching Disney movies with them, and watching them play and have fun.
I enjoy long-boarding with friends, watching movies, and helping others in need. I enjoy working with children and am excited about becoming an OB nurse so I can minister to moms and be a help and support to them during one of the most beautiful times in their lives!

Sue Katra

volunteer of the month photo

This month we are celebrating our volunteer spotlight Sue Katra who helps out each week as well as at other weekly or one time volunteer opportunities. Sue is our front desk receptionist Wednesday afternoons and she does an amazing job answering the phones and the door, accepting donations, and making connections with the clients. She helps to free up staff so they can provide direct care to the women and children we serve. Sue is a friendly face at Ruth's House and we enjoy seeing her each week! Thank you Sue!

Sue writes:
"I enjoy meeting the adults and children who come to Ruth's House. It is exciting to witness the successes of these women as they find jobs, homes, and opportunities for education. These women are to be commended for their courage in the face of adversity."

Photo: Sue Katra (in red) surrounded by her family

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