Courageous Stories

Highlighting community stories of courage, strength and resiliency

Skills-Based Volunteer Sally Wahman: ‘Wilder Was Exactly the Type of Organization I Wanted to Help’

When Sally Wahman was searching for a short-term volunteer position after she left Fairview Health Services, she found an opportunity to use her skills right in her former office building. Sally, a health care executive, had worked for eight years in office space leased by Fairview at Wilder Center. Read this story »

Wilder Meals on Wheels Volunteers: A Warm Smile and Greeting Is a Little Gift We Can Give

Wilder’s Meals on Wheels program provides a crucial service in delivering meals to older adults and adults with disabilities who would not otherwise have access to a nutritious meal. In 2017, Wilder Meals on Wheels delivered over 28,000 meals, an accomplishment made possible because of dedicated volunteers like Tim Morrell and Linda… Read this story »

Caregiver Services Volunteer Ron Dexter: ‘I’m Giving of My Gifts’

If a caregiver wants to talk, Ron Dexter is ready to listen. Ron is a Wilder volunteer who calls people connected with Wilder Caregiver Services to ask how they are doing. These check-in calls help Caregiver Services reach caregivers whose needs have changed, and they can often serve as a morale boost for people who are caring for family… Read this story »

Margaret Lewis: The Children Are Her Legacy

Margaret Lewis directly influenced more than 2,500 children during a career at Wilder that spanned almost three decades. By including Wilder in her estate plan, Margaret could now influence thousands more. Margaret, who passed away at 96 in December 2017, created a charitable bequest that will become the Margaret E. Lewis Fund for… Read this story »

Eh Tha Blay Soe: ‘Because of YLI, I Can Be More Myself’

When Eh Tha Blay Soe started high school, she felt shy and avoided public speaking. Then she joined the Youth Leadership Initiative (YLI), a multicultural leadership program at Wilder where youth strengthen their self-awareness, hone their leadership skills, and put those skills into action in the community. Read this story »

With African American Babies Coalition and Projects, Support Begins Before Birth

William Moore is a health educator for Ramsey County Public Health, a semi-pro football player, an artist, and a comic book fan. He’s also a doula. Read this story »

Identifying Service Gaps to Improve Lives and Communities: Minnesota Department of Human Services Gaps Analysis

The ultimate goal of any research or evaluation project is to inform action. A multi-year Wilder Research project with the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) is informing systems changes to meet the needs of some of Minnesota’s most vulnerable residents. Read this story »

A Plan for Recovery: Wilder Promotes Healing with Comprehensive Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services

Ethan’s priorities are spelled out in neat script in a paper planner. As a first-year college student, he makes time each week to balance his classes and other activities and interests. His to-do list includes pursuing work-study jobs. Read this story »