Our Legacies magazine is a special anniversary publication, celebrating our history, the people we have supported, and those who have made our mission possible all these years. Here is one of our stories:
There are many organizations and individuals who have supported Northeast Residence over the years by generously giving of their time, talents, and financial gifts. There were groups like the Lions Club, American Legion, VFW, and Rotary Club whose incredible financial and material support was vital when we first opened NER in a former convent in White Bear Lake in 1973. St. Mary’s Church provided the space, rent-free for the first three months and the ladies of St. Mary’s hosted a “shower” to collect items for furnishing the rooms. High school students measured the rooms for paint, carpeting, and curtains, and local business and civic organizations, neighborhood groups, and individuals provided materials and labor. The Lions Club donated NER’s first van. Other community churches and organizations gave to the new home as well. By the time they were finished, all the rooms had been completely furnished. Best of all, the new organization didn’t spend a dime! Truly amazing.
As the need to expand our services grew, we began purchasing homes in residential settings in the 1990s for our first group homes. We also added extended day programs and a respite program. The community generously contributed to our fundraising efforts, including corporations, foundations, civic organizations, and individuals. Over the last several years, groups such as the Rotary Club helped with smaller projects in some of the White Bear Lake homes; the Eagles Club spruced up a few yards; and Donatelli’s has been a long-time friend helping select the Ken and Marion Owens Scholarship recipients each year. (The scholarships are awarded to NER employees to further their education.)
For several years, the Knights of Columbus sponsored a Tootsie Roll Drive. This was a fun partnership that the people we support could participate in. It took place the last weekend of April. The Knights of Columbus would set up tables outside of Cub, Kowalski’s, or Sam’s Club and provided the Tootsie Rolls. We provided the people. We earned about $12,000 in three days. We stopped doing this during COVID-19.
These are just a few of the local groups who have helped NER along the way. We are forever grateful for all the love and support our local communities have shown us over the last 50 years. Each of you is an integral part of helping those we support live life to the fullest.
Lin Curran is Chief of Operations. She joined Northeast Residence in 1987 doing direct support.