Family Pathways honors volunteers

Volunteers are truly the life-blood of Family Pathways and have enabled the organization to serve the communities of east central Minnesota for 34 years and west central Wisconsin for three years. At the annual Volunteer Appreciation Dinner this spring, 321 volunteers and staff enjoyed dinner, entertainment and a time of celebration.

Special recognition went to volunteers who reached a milestone in their years of service. Audrey Coughlin received a special award for 20 years of service with the Wyoming Thrift Store. Joyce Lindquist received an award for 15 years of service with the senior program.

Recipients of 10 year service awards include: Cecilia Dahmen, Frank Grundmeier, Kim Leone-Larson, Ellie Peden, Grace Schoeberl and Betty Zeleny. Twenty-seven volunteers received awards for five years of service and 56 volunteers received awards for two years of service.

Family Pathways also remembers volunteer Jeffrey Chartrand who died on April 2, 2012. Jeff volunteered for the Lindstrom Food Pantry and recently led the way on a very successful fund raising effort.

In all, the organization has 1,019 volunteers who shared their talents and volunteered 57,758 hours of service to our communities in 2011.

Family Pathways has volunteer opportunities for people of any age who have a desire to help. Volunteers participate in the senior services program as companion care volunteers to help isolated seniors remain living independently in their own homes and in the “gatherings” a social respite program for families dealing with the onset of mild to mid-stage memory loss.

Volunteers give their time at one of Family Pathways four teen centers or in one of the mentorship programs. Food shelf and food pantry volunteers help by receiving donations and stocking shelves. Thrift store volunteers help with accepting donations and getting product displayed on the sales floor. Others volunteer at the central office or at special events.

As a grass root organization, Family Pathways is not only dependent upon the service of volunteers but is also dependent on the generosity of community members who donate food to the food shelves, clothes and household goods to the thrift stores, and contribute financially in support of programs. With the public’s loyal partnership, the organization works to meet its mission of working with people to meet basic needs, strengthen families, develop caring relationships and help support communities.

Information about Family Pathways can be found at: or on Facebook or you can call the central office toll free at 877-321-7100.