Courageous Stories

Highlighting community stories of courage, strength and resiliency


With Schools Closed, Classroom Therapists Connect with Students and Families Using Telehealth

When Governor Tim Walz ordered schools across Minnesota closed to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus, therapists in an innovative mental health partnership at Wilder made quick adjustments to figure out how to bring a therapeutic classroom into students’ living rooms. Read this story »

Achievement Plus Finds New Ways to Support School Communities during COVID-19 Closures

Students and families at Dayton’s Bluff Achievement Plus Elementary School can get food and basic medical, mental health and dental care alongside classroom learning and academic instruction. Through Achievement Plus, a partnership with Wilder and Saint Paul Public Schools, Dayton’s Bluff builds on the trust and relationships families… Read this story »

Family Independence Initiative Trusts Families to Know What They Need During COVID-19 Pandemic

As we all navigate new realities and financial stress due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the social and financial supports in our lives are critical. Wilder partners with families to ensure they have access to the tools and resources they need through the Family Independence Initiative (FII). Read this story »

Wilder Volunteer Kate Hu Wins 2020 Sandy Kiernat Award for Dedication to Community Service

Every week, Kate Hu quietly makes a difference at Wilder. For two hours a week, Kate organizes files, updates databases and works on projects that save time and allow staff to focus on programs. In fact, PattiJo Verdeja, a former longtime business manager at Wilder, estimates Kate’s volunteer work has saved the equivalent of two months… Read this story »

Wilder Child Development Center a Reassuring Space for Kids and Families During COVID-19

Any parent or child care provider can tell you that kids thrive on routine and stability. At a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically changed most people’s lives, the Wilder Child Development Center brings welcome routines and a reassuring environment for children – and their parents, too. Read this story »

Wilder Therapists Provide Mental Health Support for Children And Families During COVID-19

When the COVID-19 pandemic began, Wilder therapists were suddenly unable to meet in person with children and families who are experiencing stress and trauma. With balloons, feathers and bubbles, therapists are finding creative ways to help parents remain calm and nurturing during a crisis. Read this story »

Meals on Wheels Rolls with COVID-19 Changes to Continue Serving Older Adults and Adults with Disabilities in Saint Paul

Jack Munsell signed up in February to pack meals for other volunteers to deliver to Wilder Meals on Wheels customers in Saint Paul. Then the novel coronavirus upended life as Minnesotans know it. Read this story »

Wilder School-Based Mental Health Expands Beyond Elementary Schools in Saint Paul

Michael Brooks thinks every school would benefit from an on-site mental health professional. “Every school, nationwide,” says Michael, a school-based therapist with Wilder Community Mental Health and Wellness. “You cannot ignore the fact that life happens. To expect children to go on as if things aren’t happening to them is preposterous… Read this story »