GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn.--2014 marks the 30th class of outstanding local volunteers recognized through the Eleven Who Care program. KARE 11 will share the unique and inspiring stories of eleven outstanding volunteers, recognizing a different honoree each month.
Since its inception in 1983, Eleven Who Care has introduced the community to 330+ individuals making a difference in their community. This year's group of honorees serves a wide range of organizations, each one helping to make their community a better place to live. In addition to sharing inspiring stories, this year Eleven Who Care will incorporate specific opportunities for community members to make a difference by volunteering.
The individuals being recognized in 2014 are:
Becky Carlson (St. Cloud, Minn.) – Volunteer with the Granite VFW Post 428 Auxiliary Troop Care Package & Emergency Family Project. Becky commits to preparing and sending 20 care packages every month to troops serving our country overseas. Becky prepares and sends 80 packages during the holidays and works to make sure that military families are always taken care of.
Michael Chaney (Minneapolis) – Founder and leader of Project Sweetie Pie, a program dedicated to connecting youth in North Minneapolis with community gardening. Known as the Johnny Appleseed of North Minneapolis, Michael works to manage over 25 gardens while partnering with other non-profits to expand urban farming and entrepreneurial opportunities in the community.
James Crawford (Lino Lakes, Minn.) – Founder of the Minnesota Law Enforcement Memorial Association (LEMA) and the Minnesota Association for Injured Peace Officers (MAIPO). James works to ensure that officers and their families have access to the resources and support that they need when an officer is killed or injured in the line of duty.
Amy Hollan (Hector, Minn.) – Volunteer for the Hector community. Whenever anyone in Hector is looking for a helping hand they know that Amy is just a phone call away. Amy helps members of her community by taking people to appointments, picking up a few groceries or just simply stopping by an elderly person's home for a visit.
Aaron Holm (Shakopee, Minn.) – Founder and President of the Wiggle Your Toes Foundation. After suffering the loss of both of his legs above the knee in 2007 Aaron chose to become an advocate for others facing the same situation. Aaron started The Wiggle Your Toes Foundation as a way to provide the limb loss community with much needed resources and services.
Kim Howard (Minneapolis) – Founder of Majestic Hills Ranch. Majestic Hills was inspired by Kim's granddaughter, Jackie, who benefited from therapeutic horseback riding while battling cancer. The ranch provides opportunities for veterans and children with special needs to experience the unique, positive effects of equine therapy.
Linda Klein & Jane Klein (Stillwater & Bloomington, Minn.) – Leaders of the Affirming Life Support Group. Linda and Jane work with women battling stage four cancer and are continuously inspired to live and enjoy life, one day at a time.
Peggy & Larry Moon (Bloomington, Minn.) – Volunteers with Blessings in a Backpack. Peggy & Larry started the Blessings in a Backpack Twin Cities chapter when they recognized how many children were going without food when they weren't in school. The Blessings in a Backpack program gives these children the opportunity to bring food home for their families over the weekend.
Lucas Morang (Winsted, Minn.) – Volunteer with the Starkey Hearing Foundation. Lucas began raising funds for the Starkey Hearing Foundation at the age of 9 and now at 15 years old he has hosted over 22 fundraisers and raised more than $31,000. These funds have helped to provide children all over the world with the gift of hearing.
Shawn Olson (Minneapolis) – Employee at Cuningham Group and founder of the annual Cuningham Creative Exhibition. Shawn, inspired by the creative talents of his coworkers and the concept of creating something out of nothing, encouraged his company to host an art exhibit to raise funds for local non profits. To date the exhibition has raised over $125,000.
Pam Philipp (Mendota Heights, Minn.) – Founder of Operation Glass Slipper, a charity devoted to providing prom gowns and accessories at no cost to deserving girls in Minnesota and western Wisconsin. Pam and her team work tirelessly to make these girls' prom experience one that they will never forget.
Nominations for the Eleven Who Care award are submitted by community members throughout the year. The nomination form can be found online