Check-in here monthly for our Basic Needs newsletter.

July 2021

Dear Friends,
Since 1996, Basic Needs has worked to meet the needs of low-income families and individuals throughout Washington County, plus portions of Ramsey and Dakota County. Our thrift store offers gently used household items, clothing, and furniture at heavily discounted prices, and we also have several programs to engage with our community, including hunger relief programs, community engagement events, and a voucher program, which provides thrift items to families at little or no cost. 

What’s New?

COVID 19 offered some challenges but with innovative thinking, we came out better for it.  Below are some of the new things that are happening:

  1. In January, Basic Needs Inc. of South Washington County moved into a new office located at 445 Broadway Ave in St Paul Park, updated the mission statement to the following: “To support the basic needs of those in our community such as housing, food, clothing, and coordinated services”, and updated our logo for the organization and the thrift shop. Thrift shop location remained at 950 3rd St in St Paul Park.
  2. Fighting Food Insecurity: Our Free Little Pantry (located near our thrift shop) has been in use since October 2020 and offers emergency assistance with non-perishable food available 24/7. We also provide family boxed meals once a month (Saturday Suppers) and distribute pre-prepared holiday meals through our new business office location.
  3. Building Community: We host annual events to build community, distribute resources, and offer engaging programming. These include a Senior Morning Social event, Easter Egg Hunt, Spring Bash, Bike Camp, Summer Activity Camp, Halloween drive-thru, and Winter Wonderland drive-thru. We also just completed our community garden to engage youth and senior groups.
  4. Meeting Needs: In addition to discounted prices at our thrift store, we offer a voucher program at our business office  to provide work clothes, furniture, and household items to those in need. Participants are referred through social workers and other community agencies (or can stop in) and if they qualify, they are provided with vouchers to receive free or discounted items from our thrift store.
  5. Housing: We are currently meeting with resources from Washington County, St Croix Family Resources, Heading Home, and others to determine our role for this need. 

We hope to see more changes in the near future.  To learn more about what we are doing, go to our website: basicneedsmn.org. 
Vickie Snyder
Executive Director
Basic Needs Inc. of South Washington County

In this Newsletter

  • MAVA Award Winner one of our own
  • News from Basic Needs Thrift Shop
  • Update on Community Outreach Programs
  • Upcoming Events
The MAVA Mary Wiser Award for Leadership in the Field of Volunteer Resources
The award is recognition of excellence by the recipient’s peers. It honors a professional in the field of volunteer administration who demonstrates the vision, diligence, and commitment to service that are the hallmarks of professionalism in the field. The award recognizes contributions to the overall profession within and outside the recipient’s organization, including contributions over a period of time.
Vickie Snyder inspires those around her to serve their community. She leads Basic Needs of South Washington County Inc. humbly, but with more energy than anyone. When someone is in need, she ensures they are served with dignity. She has been in their shoes before, and will do everything in her power to ensure they have what they need. As a leader, Vickie has no trouble jumping into any of the organization’s volunteer roles required to serve the community. She is also willing to have the difficult conversations to improve the organization as a whole. Since she stepped into the role of Executive Director/President in 2015, she has used her keen business acumen to bring the organization from being behind on rent and expenses with 10 volunteers to financially stable and over 50 volunteers. Vickie’s humble leadership makes her a critical component of our community. It often seems like everyone knows Vickie! She volunteers with the Chamber of Commerce, Women in the Chamber, Cottage Grove Beyond the Yellow Ribbon and others. Her community network is astounding, and enables her to lead Basic Needs in a way that best serves her community’s needs. 

Basic Needs Thrift Shop is your community store. Anyone can purchase household items, Antiques, Bedding, Books, Clothing, Decorative items, Dishes, Furniture, Games, Jewelry, Puzzles, Records, Silverware, Shoes, Tools, Towels and many other items for very low prices.  The money we earn from sales helps Basic Needs Inc. of South Washington County to provide programs and coordinated activities in our community. 

Spend $20 you receive 1 sticker. Once you have 5 stickers you receive $10 off of your purchase.

How can you make a difference?

Join other Basic Needs volunteers (like Lori below) who are donating their time at our donation center to receive and process donated goods during our open hours.  Interested in helping for an event? Want to bring a group of friends or co-workers with you? You can do that too! We are so thankful for all the volunteers who come and help us.  We’ve had volunteers from all over the Twin Cities.  If you have a few hours in your week, please join us! For more information contact the Basic Needs Thrift Shop volunteer coordinator at volunteermgr@basicneedsmn.org or call 651-458-9786.
Another way can you make a difference?

Helping your neighbor begins at home. . .Your home!
Basic Needs Store is dedicated to helping families and individuals trying to stretch their budgets. Helping the community is a key aspect of what makes Basic Needs different.
 Your donations make it possible. What can you donate? 

With a new year here, we want to thank everyone in our community for everything you have done in support of Basic Needs over this past unprecedented year. From staff, shoppers, and clients to donors and volunteers, it is the strength of our community—made up of incredible people like you that ensures our strong comeback in 2021.

Community Outreach Programs
  • Saturday Suppers is a program recently adopted by our organization that provides pre-cooked meals and handed off to Saturday Supper participants. Working with local restaurants we have been able to serve over 30 families over the span of two months. We have been working with the American Legion and Park Cafe to provide nutritious meals for the first of every month at our 445 Broadway Ave office.
  • Free Little Pantry: Basic Needs provides people in need of emergency, short-term assistance with nonperishables available 24 hours a day if needed. We also provide free bread five days a week at the thrift shop
  • We are hosting a vaccine clinic on June 28th at our office location. This opportunity allowed us to partner with the Minnesota Department of Health.
  • Summer Camp Activity challenge in July has led us to partner with Marathon to create a calendar of events for families to do together throughout the month of July. We had 30 available spots and it was filled up within the week. Special Thanks to Melissa Nowicki for organizing and planning the event.
  • We have a new program called, Senior Social Time. We offer free Starbucks coffee and snacks from 8am-10am every Tuesday in our office location. Card games and board games will be available for attendees.  
  • Basic Needs has partnered with District 833 and the Skoolie Events. With the help of the St. Paul Park Newport Lions Club, in June we hosted up to 15 families in evening activities and food at Newport elementary. We played Bingo with prizes. Next event is July 20th.
  • Every Wednesday evening from 4-6:30pm Basic Needs holds a small fundraiser during the St Paul Park Car Show behind the office building. We sell ice cream and water and accept nonperishable food for the Free Little Pantry. Funds raised are put toward the Saturday Supper program.
  • Donations given out to the community:
    • 120 hygiene kits for the Beyond the Yellow Ribbon group to send to the troops being deployed. 
    • Distributed six birthday kits to kids in our community.
    • Supplied art supplies for June 13th Cottage Grove Armory event. 
    • 3136 lbs. of bakery Items through Thrift Shop
    • 319 lbs. of nonperishable food for the Free Little Pantry
    • Books for local Free Little Pantry.
  • Voucher Program: we gave out $450 in voucher credit to Basic Needs Thrift Shop for individuals and their families who were going through a crisis.
Community Garden: Our community garden, Growth For Good, has taken off!  We built the garden with the intention to serve our community and offer free educational courses on gardening. Our garden is located behind Newport Collision Center in Newport MN. It has 20 plots that are 8X4 that have been sponsored by local community groups.  The beds are being cared for by several Girl Scout and Boy Scout Troops plus So Wash Cares.
 The food raised will help the children earn badges for their scout work, help kids within District 833, and will be delivered to several of the local senior centers.  Any product that is remaining and can’t be donated will be sold at the Newport Farmers market. The money raised at the farmers market will be used to run the garden in 2022.  
Without the help of Newport Collision, the St Paul Park –Newport Lions Club, Northland Fencing, South Suburban Rental, Rumpcas Inc., Meri Danielson via Thrivent, and the Seed Savers Project, we wouldn’t have been able to grow our garden to what it is today.
We appreciate the support and are grateful for all of the contributions.
We have begun planning our educational sessions for the garden in July. They will be Thursday nights from 5:30-6:30 pm. They will be open to the public.  We have arranged a great list of educators to teach community members about harvesting, the importance of organics, pollinators and so much more. We will have some of the troops participating as well.
If you are interested in caring for a garden plot or attending the education sessions at Growth For Good community Garden please reach out to programmgr@basicneedsmn.org

Bicycle Camp: August date TBD
Senior Morning Social: Every Tuesday from 8-10 AM at office location.
Saturday Supper: First Saturday in August: 5-6:30 PM.
Car Show Fundraiser (weather permitting):Every Wed from 4-6:30 PM
Skoolie Events: August 10th-Newport Elementary 5-6:30 PM 
Kickball Tournament: date TBD
Family Fun at Furber Farm:  4-7PM 
Community Garden Presentations: July 22nd in the garden. More coming

Check out our Facebook page for more information

With Your Help last year WE

$16,000+ ITEMS

of free goods were provided to individuals through our voucher program.

3,887 HOURS

of volunteer contribution

62,700 LBS

of materials were recycled with Simple Recycling. We prioritize sustainability!

6 Events

for our community

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