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Friendship and Flowers sign-up change gives elders and volunteers a better experience  

As many of you have seen, we have established a new sign-up system for delivering flowers and cookies each month. SignUpGenius is a web site that allows our volunteers to choose which facility or home they would like to deliver to. This exciting new system will help us improve Friendship and Flowers in the following ways:

  • It ensures that every elder is assigned a volunteer and not overlooked.
  • It opens up the possibility for ALL of our volunteers at LBFE to participate in the program. If you are a day time event driver, visiting volunteer, office volunteer, holiday volunteer, etc., you are welcome to sign up, and volunteer at any time! This is one of our signature programs, and we would love to have our volunteers across the spectrum involved in bringing companionship to our elders.
  • It will help alleviate some of the logistical work on our end as staff, allowing us to reach out to more elders.
  • Best of all, it gives you, the volunteer, more ownership in your overall experience.

Due to this new system, each volunteer will no longer be matched by a staff to where or who they deliver to. We know that the heart of this program is building consistent relationships with our volunteers and elders. While it may seem that this new system hinders relationship building, we feel that it actually helps reinforce relationships by encouraging volunteers to be proactive in signing up early so they have the opportunity to deliver to the elders or area they desire the most, and so that there won't be any elders not being delivered to.


We realize that with a change like this, it will take time for volunteers to get accustomed. Thank you ahead of time for your patience and understanding as we transition to this new sign up system. In the long run, we feel confident that your time and efforts in this program will be more fruitful and impactful in serving our elders.


If interested in signing up for October and beyond, you can do so right now by clicking this link. Chelsea Sander, Program Manager, will send an email out the week of October 18th with more details.


If you have any other questions or concerns, please feel free to contact Josh Windham, Volunteer Manager at or 612.746.0732. 

Sign up today to volunteer on Thanksgiving and Christmas! 

The holidays are approaching fast, and volunteer positions for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners are already beginning to fill up.


Thanksgiving Dinner: Thursday, Nov. 27 at the Prom Center, 484 Inwood Ave N, Oakdale


Christmas Dinner: Thursday, Dec. 25 at St. Mary's University, 2500 Park Ave S, Minneapolis


Click on the holiday name above to sign up for various positions through SignupGenius. Please be patient as we try this new system out. We believe that this will help you know in real time if the position is still open and that you've secured your spot so you can better plan your holidays.


If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Josh Windham, Volunteer Manager at or 612.746.0732.

Volunteer Spotlight

Cheryl and Mike Kostecki share their recipe for caring 


When volunteer Mike Kostecki enters the community room at LBFE, the elders' faces all light up. And it's not just because of Mike's warm, welcoming manner.


"They know I'm the guy bringing the cookies," Mike acknowledges. For more than three years, Mike's wife, Cheryl, has donated her baking skills for the benefit of LBFE's elders. The cookies are packed alongside carnations in Friendship and Flowers bags and delivered to shut-in elders in their homes or care facilities on the third Saturday of each month. And, they are the delicious addition to Cards, Crafts and Coffee, which is held monthly on the fourth Thursday morning.


Cheryl grew up in Wisconsin on a dairy farm, which she admits contributed to her love for baking. "I belonged to 4-H -- we did a lot of cooking and baking. We also were members of a country church where they had 'tasting bees.'"


Mike grew up in East St. Paul. "My Dad's family came over from Poland and entered the U.S. through Ellis Island," Mike explained. "Because they spoke only Polish, the immigration department asked St. Casimir's church to sponsor them."


As an adult, Cheryl moved to the Twin Cities, and met Mike when they both worked for a telemarketing company, but kept their relationship under wraps. "We dated for a year and a half, but no one knew it until we announced our engagement," laughed Mike. They now live in Rosemount. Cheryl is a title specialist for Wells Fargo Equipment Finance, and Mike splits his time between working as a night supervisor for St. Paul Linoleum and Carpet, and representing his own vending machine company.


Cheryl has been volunteering her baking skills for years, beginning with a church in Farmington. She also baked for U.S. troops through the organization Heroes Under God. But it was Wells Fargo coworker Julie Dey who alerted her to LBFE's baking needs. "I became a volunteer in 2011, and I've provided cookies or bars 40 different times, without repeating one recipe." Recent recipes included sugar cookies rolled in coconut, cranberry oatmeal drops and blueberry bars, and she's continuously testing new ingredients and combinations. She keeps track of her recipes for LBFE in a small portable notebook, noting that not one recipe "is just a chocolate chip cookie."


Mike and Cheryl demonstrate a strong dedication in their own relationship. "I've been in love with her since the day I met her," Mike said, to which Cheryl teasingly replied, "He doesn't talk like this at home." But she admits that a giving spirit is ingrained at a young age. "You learn when you're growing up to just do the right thing, and it makes you feel good."  

Volunteer Opportunities: October and November  


To sign up for these opportunities, please contact Josh Windham at or 612.746.0732 unless otherwise noted.



Tuesday, October 14, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Tuesday, November 11, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Where: St. Olaf's Church, 215 S 8th St, Mpls

Sponsored by League of Catholic Women

Need: 3-4 drivers/companions



Saturday, October 18, 9-11 a.m.

Saturday, November 15, 9-11 a.m.

Volunteer visitors needed for Mpls. and St. Paul



Monday, October 20, 4-5 p.m.

Where: LBFE, 1845 E Lake St., Minneapolis



Thursday, October 23, 9:30-11:30 a.m.

Sponsorship available!

Thursday, November 20, 9:30-11:30 a.m.

Sponsor: Deb Paulson

Where: LBFE, 1845 E Lake St., Minneapolis

Need: 3-4 drivers/companions each event (mostly Mpls)



Wednesday, October 15, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

Where: LBFE, 1845 E Lake St., Minneapolis

Sponsor: Warner Connect

Wednesday, November 19, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m..

Sponsor: Blake School

Where: Blake School, 511 Kenwood Pkwy, Minneapolis

Need: 5-6 drivers/companions each event



Wednesday, October 29, 11 a.m.-12:15 p.m.

Wednesday, November 19, 11 a.m.-12:15 p.m..

Where: Elders Lodge, 1500 Magnolia Ave. E, St. Paul

Sponsored by Presbyterian Homes

Need:2-3 drivers/companions each event



Monday, November 17, 4:15-5:30 p.m.

Where: Ames Lake Neighborhood Community Center,
1144 Barclay St., St. Paul

Need: 3-4 drivers



Thursday, November 27, 12:00 noon-2:00 p.m.

Where: Prom Center, 484 Inwood Ave N, Oakdale

Need: View and sign up here!


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Please send in your time reports -- it's easy!

Help us accurately track and report to the community and our funders by completing your monthly time report. Here's how:

  1. Fill out your time report. To download a writable PDF of the form, click here.
  2. Save and email, or print and mail or fax (612.721.5848) to your supervisor. View email directory.

 Thank you!


Help spread the word to your social network!

As the fall season is in full swing, please spread the word about LBFE and our mission to your friends and family, as well as your social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. We are always on the lookout for more volunteers and donors, and seek to continue to establish partnerships with those in our community.


If you would like any brochures, flyers or other handouts, please contact Danielle Fehring at or at 612.746.0726.



Volunteer Orientation and

Basic Training


Learn about Little Brothers - Friends of the Elderly's history, current programs and what the future holds in store for Minnesota's older adults. As a prospective volunteer, or a current volunteer who wants to deepen your commitment, you'll gain valuable insights on working with older adults, handling various situations and our practices and policies.


The sessions are FREE and essential for all volunteer companions -- please join us!  


Sat, Oct. 11, 9-10:30 a.m.

Wed, Oct. 15, 6:30-8 p.m.


RSVP to Danielle Fehring at

or 612.746.0726.


 CPR Training through the
South Minneapolis Rotary 


Learn the life-saving skills of CPR and how to use an automatic external defibrillator (AED) with confidence at this special Minneapolis South Rotary meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 21, 7:30-9:00 p.m. It is free and open to the public. Please register at:


Volunteer Department Information
For information about becoming a volunteer, or to volunteer for upcoming events (existing volunteers), contact Josh Windham at
or 612.746.0732.
Location: 1845 East Lake Street, Minneapolis, MN 55407.
Office hours:
8:30 a.m.- 5 p.m, Monday-Friday. 

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