Summer Newsletter

Please read our late Summer newsletter for all of the latest Neighbors news! Note: There are corrections to the Fall Fashion Show benefit event at Luther Memorial. It will take place on Saturday, September 26th and the phone number to call for more information is: 651-451-2400.

Late Summer News 2015

Neighbors is Hiring a Development Associate – Part Time

Neighbors, Inc. is a non-profit, social-service agency serving the northern Dakota County communities of Inver Grove Heights, South St. Paul, West St. Paul, Mendota Heights, Mendota, Sunfish Lake and Lilydale. Primarily through the service of volunteers, Neighbors provides emergency assistance and supportive assistance programs.

Neighbors’ mission:

With the help of its volunteers, Neighbors, Inc. will strive to reduce poverty,

promote self-sufficiency, and build community.

Position Overview

The person in this position is responsible for assisting with tracking and acknowledging donations to support Neighbors, Inc. The position will join Neighbors’ Development Team and will do data entry and reporting from contributions, event ticket sales and will track internal communications lists. The person hired will need to be able to write professional letters and maintain strict schedules

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

  • Data entry of donors and donations into Salesforce database
  • Produce reports on contacts, donors and donations
  • Prepare mail merged letters, stamp and mail acknowledgements
  • Work on a team to provide timely and accurate mailings and tracking
  • Represent Neighbors in a positive light, including meeting and exceeding constituents’ communication preferences and desires

The ideal candidate will be:

  • Independent and self-motivated – able to do work that can be isolating (data-entry) when the organization and the position are at their busiest
  • Possess a strong eye for detail
  • Skilled in writing and communication in English
  • Hard working – willing to do additional data entry even when busy to ensure accuracy and to provide detailed reporting
  • Organized and able to handle details
  • Conscientious and kind – aware of donors and their wishes, including maintaining confidentiality
  • Able to work during Neighbors’ busiest times of the year, March-April and October-December

Required Skills and Experience:

  • Minimum of a high school degree or equivalent with background in nonprofit organizations and/or administration
  • Ability to communicate well in person, in writing, and online
  • Ability to lift and load heavy loads (paper supplies and occasionally assisting with food donations) < 30 lbs.
  • Skill to use Microsoft Office suite (specifically Word, Outlook and Excel)
  • Ability to communicate the mission of Neighbors to those who are instrumental to the organization’s overall prosperity

Additional Skills and Experience that is Preferred:

  • Successful completion of post-secondary education
  • Experience with Salesforce (without experience, training will be provided)
  • Experience tracking donations at nonprofits or churches/synagogues/mosques or other organizations
  • Knowledge of the community in northern Dakota County


Reports to the Director of Development

Pay and Benefits

Salary is dependent upon experience and will range from $14-16/hour.  This is a part time position of 22.5 hours per week (Neighbors has 7.5 hour work days with .75 hours unpaid for lunch).  This position is benefits eligible for a prorated (three-fifth time) benefits package.  The position will provide the opportunity to work in a nimble organization that is a leader in providing emergency assistance, programming to support independent living and in providing volunteer opportunities for community members to help each other in northern Dakota County.

Neighbors strongly encourages people of color to apply.

An office, computer and software will be provided by Neighbors.

The position will be filled as soon as can be arranged.

How to Apply

Please send a cover letter and resume as well as past work samples to Rick Birmingham, Director of Development at: by Monday August 24, 2015.  No phone calls please.

Nancy’s Garden Party

Nancy’s garden party was a success.IMG_0660

Last night the weather cooperated and Nancy’s garden was gorgeous.

There were whispers of fairies moving about.

Thank you so much to Nancy and all who came.  The event raised an amazing 270 lbs. of food and $710 for Neighbors.

Neighbors is always looking for friends willing to do a garden party fundraiser.  If you are interested, contact Heidi at 651-306-2154.


August Menu Makers: Mac & Cheese Recipes

Menu Makers Features New Twists on a Childhood Favorite!

Pasta Primavera with Cheesy Bread

Pasta Primavera

Do you remember eating Mac & Cheese as a child? (Maybe you still do!) Our Menu Makers recipe-sharing program is featuring some grown-up ways to serve this classic dish. Not only are they affordable, but they’re also delicious! Check them out here: Boxed Mac N CHeese Flyer


As a bonus this month, we are also featuring a special Menu Makers recipe sheet to highlight cooking basics of many of the items distributed in our Food Shelf. Whether you are a seasoned chef or just starting to cook, this is a great reference for basic culinary practices. Everyday Basic Recipes Flyer

Managing Change Mindfully: August’s Continuing Education Workshop

In this highly experiential session, you will discover mindfulness- based practices for managing change with flexibility and openness. You will explore the nature of your mind and its relationship to stress, and you will learn simple and practical ways to become more flexible and resilient during times of change, and calm and centered amidst stress.

When: Thursday, August 13
Time: 12 noon – 1 pm
Where: Downstairs Conference Room 

Presenters: Jennifer Niedzielski 
Mindfulness Teacher at the Center for Spirituality and Healing at the U of M Twin-cities
To sign up please contact Dylan at 651-272-1133 or


Volunteer Recognition for July: Charyl P.

In July we were gifted with another great volunteer nomination. This month we are recognizing Charyl P. for her great work at Neighbors. Thank you for dedicating your time to Neighbors to help us serve the community. Below are some kind words your fellow volunteer said about you.

“I would like to nominate Charyl from the Clothes Closet for recognition. The survey she is doing will be really helpful.  She has been a real help to me and I am sure it will help many others also.”

Thanks, Charyl!

Thanks quote

Everything I Needed to Know About Life I Learned at the Food Shelf

Everything I Needed to Know About Life I Learned at the Food Shelf

written by Food Shelf Volunteers for former boss Rebecca’s last day

1. The Dented Can

Volunteers are like dented cans. We may have dents and folds in unusual places, but our expiration dates have not yet expired.

2. The Clam Juice

There is something unique in each of us. If you try hard enough, you will find something special inside every one-of-a-kind jar of clam juice person you meet.

3. The Canned Salmon

What do you do with something that is gray, slimy, unwanted and is piled in boxes that reach all the way to the ceiling? The lesson here is to think about creative distribution and “Never Say Never.” All things are possible!

4. The Preparation H

This one probably speaks for itself. The greatest talk of a strong leader is to deal with those sudden episodes of inflammation and irritability that pop up out of nowhere. A good leader knows how and where to apply that soothing ointment of kindness, patience, and wisdom.

Poem's Accompanying Gift

Poem’s Accompanying Gift

South St. Paul Public School Early Learning Partners with Neighbors, Inc.

SSPPS Partners with Neighbors Inc

The District is very happy to announce the partnership between SSP Early Learning and Neighbors Inc. This summer, we will be placing a Screening Nurse and a Family Support Worker at the Neighbors Inc facility to support families with early childhood screening, recruit for Early Learning services/school enrollment in our District, and build sustainable relationships with families in our community.


Screening Nurse office hours:
Wednesday Mornings
8:15 AM – 12:15 PM
June 15 through August 10

Family Support Worker office hours:
Thursday Mornings                   Thursday Mornings
8:15 AM – 12:15 PM                  1:00 – 4:00 PM
June 15 through July 9              June 15 through July 9


For more information, visit:

July Menu Makers: Green Beans

Menu Makers Features Green Bean Recipes in July

Use canned green beans (or stop by your local farmer’s market to get fresh green beans) for these delicious recipes! Either way, we would like to share some recipe ideas to help you put a new spin on some classic dishes. Bon appetite!

Green Bean Flyer

bacon beans  deep fried green beans  cold bean salad

The Menu Makers program at Neighbors, Inc. was created and is maintained by volunteers. Each month features a different product that can be found in our Food Shelf. Recipe sheets (along with the product) are distributed to Food Shelf clients throughout the month. If you have any recipes you’d like to share, please let us know! Upcoming features include: bananas, kale, zucchini & black beans.

Summer Meals

Summer Meals Program

The Summer Meals program, which serves hot food to children (up to 18 years old) at local schools, is in full swing. Find out what Summer Meals Program Coordinator, Jenna, had to say about it:

“My experience has been rewarding. To see kids thrive after watching them eat and knowing their bellies are full is rewarding. Sometimes this is the only meal they will receive for the day. The volunteers (who serve them) take pride in preparing the meals and making sure the children have items from every food group so they receive a well-balanced breakfast or lunch. I recommend volunteering for this program if you have never done it before. It’s a good place to start volunteering with Neighbors, Inc. because it’s quick, easy, fun, rewarding, and most of all – you get to interact with kids! It’s a great way to spend your Summer – knowing you made a difference in a child’s life.” – Jenna F.

If you are interested in volunteering, you can contact Jenna at:

Summer Meals Lunchbox

Menu Makers: Fresh Ideas

Corn-on-the-Cob Featured as a “Bonus” Menu Makers

Fresh Produce = Fresh Ideas

It’s Summer and we are loving all of the fresh produce we’re getting donated to our Food Shelf! We love it so much that we have created a new subcategory for our Menu Makers recipe-sharing program called Menu Makers: Fresh Ideas. When we have an abundance of fresh produce, we will feature recipes for it as it is distributed in the Food Shelf. In addition to corn, Fresh Ideas will also feature bananas and green beans. Yum!

Hooray Fresh Corn-on-the-Cob Flyer (2)



Grilled Corn, Black Bean and Lime Salad

Grilled Corn, Black Bean and Lime Salad

Volunteerism in a changing world – what does it mean for Neighbors?

Continuing Education Workshop for July:

Volunteerism in a changing world – what does it mean for Neighbors?

Neighbors started with 18 volunteers back in 1972. Today, Neighbors, Inc. has nearly 1,700 volunteers each year. Join us to learn about how people are changing the way they want to volunteer and how Neighbors can better prepare for this change.

Group Volunteers from Spartan Nash

Group Volunteers from Spartan Nash

Date: Thursday, July 9th

Time: 12 noon – 1pm *Light lunch provided.*

Location: Neighbors, Inc. (downstairs conference room)

Presenter: Zeeda Magnuson, Associate Director, HandsOn Twin Cities

RSVP: or 651-272-1133

Plant It Forward

Plant It Forward

Whether you are a Master Gardener, garden as a hobby or are just looking for an excuse to get outdoors this Summer, please consider “planting it forward.” Donate some of your produce to the Food Shelf at Neighbors, Inc. Delicious, healthy produce is an especially welcome addition to our Food Shelf offerings during the Summer and Fall. Fresh fruits and vegetables can be expensive at the grocery store. It is wonderful to be able to give clients the nutritious produce at Neighbors, Inc. We couldn’t do it without your help! Here are some ways you can help:

1. Donate excess produce directly to Neighbors’ Food Shelf.

Bring in extra produce from your garden. It doesn’t matter how much or how little. We appreciate it all. Our Food Shelf is located on the lower level of our building and donations are accepted from 8am – 4:30pm Monday through Friday. Need help transporting items to Neighbors? Give us a call and we can talk about arranging a pick-up.

Donating kale from his garden

A farmer donating kale

Recipe for Kale Chips submitted by Kenny Robinson, Manager at The St. Paul Grill:

  • Clean the kale and cut out the stocks leaving full leaves.
  • Lightly toss in virgin olive oil just enough to cover the leaves very lightly.
  • Add any seasoning you like, sweet, spicy, or just pepper and salt.
  • In a 350 degree oven bake until the kale is crispy, should only take about 5 minutes.

2. Start a Giving Garden.

The Twin Cities are proud to boast quite a few Giving Gardens! In fact, there are so many they formed their own network. Check out their Twitter handle @mngivinggardens to find out the latest news. If you are considering starting one, here is a great resource guide put together by Blue Cross Blue Shield:

  1. Participate in our “Plant It Forward” campaign.

In addition to a Giving Garden, your workplace can join our Plant It Forward program where employees bring produce from their own gardens in to work on a specified day and Neighbors will come and pick it up. CHS has a successful Plant it Forward program at their headquarter office in Inver Grove Heights.

 CHS Plant It Forward_Materials 1

  1. Visit a Farmer’s Market.

Did you know that if you can’t use all of the produce you purchase at a Farmer’s Market, you can donate it? Buy a dozen tomatoes but only need ten for your recipe? Look for our donation barrels at the South St. Paul, West St. Paul and Inver Grove Heights Farmer’s Markets to share the extras instead of throwing them. Not only are you shopping locally, but you can also support the Food Shelf at Neighbors, Inc. Find a Farmer’s Market location here:


Coffee Hour for Volunteers

Volunteers are so essential to Neighbors, Inc. and we could never be able to thank everyone enough for what they do. As a small token of our gratitude, please join us for snacks and a drink of your choice from the Black Sheep Coffee Shop. Space is limited to the first 50 response due to the capacity restriction of the coffee shop.

When: Tuesday, June 23rd

Time: 5pm – 6pm

Where: Black Sheet Coffee Shop, 705 Southview Blvd, South St. Paul, MN

Please email or call Kazoua to reserve your spot.
651-272-1133 or

June Menu Makers: Chocolate Cake Recipes

To complete the three month “sugar trilogy,” we are featuring yet another dessert product for our Menu Makers program in June: chocolate cake. These chocolate cake recipes will be distributed, along with a box of chocolate cake mix, to food shelf clients throughout the month of June. You can also get a copy of these delicious recipes by clicking on the link below. Enjoy! Chocolate Cake Mix Recipes and Photos

PB Chocolate  MM Logo   mint chocolate cookies


Multicultural Connections Between You & Your Neighbors

What: Continuing Education Program @ Neighbors, Inc.

“Multicultural Connections Between You & Your Neighbors”

When: June 11, 2015

Where: Conference Room (Lower Level)

Time: 12pm – 1pm (Light Lunch Provided)

Presenter: Leo Montes, Commerical Appraiser for the City of Minneapolis


Join us for an informative workshop on understanding your neighbors from different parts of the world. This is a great way to learn how to interact and accept the actions of people that are different from you. Open to all interns, volunteers & staff of Neighbors, Inc.


Questions? Contact Kazoua to sign-up or with questions at: or 651-272-1133

Open House on May 20th

Neighbors, Inc. – Open House

Featuring the River Heights Chamber of Commerce CoffeeNet networking event, SSP Police Department K9 Officer, South St Paul Jaycees, Speed Volunteering in the Food Shelf and Clothes Closet, Prizes, and Guided Tours!

Where:         Neighbors, Inc. 222 Grand Ave. W South St Paul, MN

When:           May 20, 2015

Time:             7:30 am – 5 pm

For more information please contact Kazoua at 651-272-1133 or


Princess Tea Party 2015

The room was bustling with princes and princesses for the first ever Neighbors’ Princess Tea Party. Guests wore their royal best – including party dresses, princess outfits, crowns, hats and gloves.

Meeting Princesses

Meeting Princesses

Pictures with Princesses

Pictures with Princesses

Dressed for Tea

Dressed for Tea


A dozen title-holding princesses from local and regional pageants around the state joined us for tea. They took   pictures with guests and signed autographs as well as taught us more about what being a true princess means. According to them, princesses are nice to everyone they meet and are kind both inside and out.

Learning about being a Princess

Learning about being a Princess

In addition to meeting princesses, guests enjoyed a catered brunch from Gina’s Homestyle Catering, imported Greek tea provided by Kotoni Tea, themed party games, crafts, and activities.


Tea decorations and centerpieces were provided by the Clothes Closet Thrift Store at Neighbors. Items used for decoration were available for purchase to attendees. Proceeds from this event, including merchandise sales, benefitted Neighbors, Inc.


Centerpieces from the Clothes Closet

Centerpieces from the Clothes Closet




A special thanks to Monica Buenzow Photography for taking & sharing wonderful photos from the event!



All of the Princes & Princesses

All of the Princes & Princesses

Neighbors Newsletter – Spring 2015

Spring 2015 Newsletter

May Menu Makers: Brownies!

Ooey, Gooey, Delicious Brownie Recipes are Featured in May

We are on a dessert kick at Neighbors! For a couple months in a row, our Menu Makers program will feature recipes for the final course of the meal: dessert! Check out all of the wonderful, chocolatey recipes submitted by volunteers, staff and friends of Neighbors by clicking below.

Hooray Flyers Brownie Mix Recipes

MM Logo

Menu Makers is a volunteer-run program in our Food Shelf which features recipes for either lesser-known food products or items we have in abundance. The program is a great way to share recipes with each other (clients, volunteers, and staff) and connect over cooking.