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Giving back: Volunteer service by ACR employees knows no bounds

Because we go to great lengths to identify and hire people who are compassionate and altruistic, we find that many of our employees volunteer for other organizations when they’re not working. Recognizing these efforts to give back, we also regularly promote community events, some of which are focused on volunteering and serving others.

Our team members are involved in a wide variety of volunteer efforts that bring meaning to them in different ways. Our student employees often volunteer to meet entry requirements for acceptance into higher-ed programs, while others donate their extra time just for the intrinsic rewards of helping others and giving back to their communities.

This fun group of employees from various ACR homes and departments packed 15 boxes at Feed My Starving Children – Eagan. That’s food for 47 kids for a year! 🥳

“I think it’s endemic in our hiring process,” says ACR founder Jim Nelson of the concern for others demonstrated by his staff. “Our work is a giving kind of activity, giving yourself to others and helping them have the best life possible. We look for that in terms of their backgrounds by asking ‘What sort of volunteering have you done?'”

Time well spent: ACR coordinated community efforts

Here are a few examples of how our employees give back.

  • Team member Brianna helps manage a program through which ACR Homes supports the Muscular Dystrophy Association with donations to its summer camp, participation in its carnival and financial support for its Muscle Walk. Brianna also staffs a promotional table for ACR at the Stillwater, Minnesota, community event Summer Tuesdays.
  • Organized by ACR Director of Development Deb Nygaard, several employees volunteer for nonprofit Days for Girls International by gathering monthly to assemble feminine hygiene products for girls in developing countries.
  • A group of ACR employees recently made blankets for patients at Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare.
  • Through the Free Wheelchair Mission, ACR volunteers have donated money to buy wheelchairs for people in developing countries who have disabilities.
  • ACR volunteers have assembled meals for nonprofit Feed My Starving Children.
  • Our workers have packed and distributed backpack meals for needy children through Minnesota nonprofit Sheridan Story.
  • For several years, ACR volunteers have worked to support Operation Christmas Child.
  • Our team members have built dressers, cleaning kits and kitchen utensil kits and held blanket and pillow drives for Bridging, a Twin Cities nonprofit that helps immigrant and homeless people furnish new apartments.
  • ACR volunteers have picked up trash along Snelling Avenue to beautify the community.
  • ACR employees have taught community courses on dementia at local libraries.
  • Arthur’s Ensemble, a musical group made up of ACR employees, has performed for various nonprofit events and fundraisers.
  • Our employees have coordinated community and in-house blood drives for more than 15 years.
  • ACR team member Teagan has volunteered as an animal therapy assistant at the University of Minnesota Medical Center.
  • ACR staff have sorted food shelf donations for Second Harvest Heartland.
  • Our workers walked as models in the Rosedale Mall event FashionAble, an ACR-sponsored fashion show for people of all abilities.
  • Team members have served on the boards of organizations including the University of Northwestern St. Paul School of Nursing; the St. Paul Senior Workers Association; the Regions Hospital Foundation; the Disability Advisory Committee at HealthPartners and the Roseville Alzheimer’s and Dementia Community Action Team.

That’s not all. ACR volunteers have raised money for a number of other organizations and projects, including a STEM lab at Central Park Elementary in Roseville; a reading room at the Ramsey County Library – Roseville; the Police Foundation in Roseville; clean water projects in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Dominican Republic; the Alzheimer’s Association; the Down Syndrome Association; Gillette Children’s Hospital; HealthPartners’ Center for Memory and Aging; Regions Hospital Foundation; HealthPartners’ Neuroscience Center Capital Campaign and the Jericho Road Ministries Food Shelf in Minneapolis.

In short, the volunteer service records of many of our staff members are nothing short of amazing and coordinating these efforts aligns with our Core Values.

“The caliber of the young men and women hired as staff is extraordinary,” remarks Robert Kline, a family member of an ACR resident. “They are thoughtful and caring, and show a maturity beyond their years. We’re happy to be served by them and by your organization.”