Volunteer Staff

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Get to know the people who help make Sarah’s a home.

Carmen Griffin


Carmen works as volunteer Staff in Residence at Sarah’s. Originally from Toledo, Ohio, Carmen comes from a large family, and she helped raise many of her younger cousins (19 in all!). Carmen attended the University of Toledo, and has worked with Hennepin County in the child support division, and as Resident Manager for the Sankofa Program with Model Cities, Inc. Additionally, she worked at RS Eden as a Resident Manager. In her free time, Carmen enjoys listening to music, attending concerts, reading novels and poetry, traveling, and treasure hunting at thrift stores. Her current goals include earning a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and sociology as well as learning how to swim. Carmen offers these words of wisdom: “Separation is limitation. I think when we separate ourselves, we limit ourselves.”

Caroline Agbonlahor


Caroline works with Sarah’s as a volunteer Staff-in-Residence. She has her master’s degree in Media and Communication from her home country Nigeria. She came to the US in 2014 to study Guitar Performance at McNally Smith College of Music St Paul. She is a singer-songwriter, guitarist and guitar tutor. She hopes to develop her career in the fields of creative media/communication, content management and music.


Sue Reaney
Creative Activities Coordinator


Sue Reaney has been teaching jewelry-making and other crafts to the women at Sarah’s for over three years.  She is very passionate about Sarah’s, its mission and the women she has come to know and love. Sue is the mother of Kat and has two little white dogs. She is a former school psychologist and special education teacher and lives happily at Episcopal Homes. She is currently a Consociate Candidate with the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, St Paul Province.

Neelanzana Paudel
House Helper


I am a senior with a chemistry major and a math minor. I will be graduating from St.Kate’s in May 2017.  I am an international student from Kathmandu, Nepal. I came to the US in Fall 2013 to pursue my bachelor’s degree. I currently work at 3M as a technical aide and also work in the school library. Some of my hobbies include traveling, reading fictions and watching movies.

Mary Kerres
Plant Whisperer


Mary Kerres retired in 2014 from 25 years serving as a healthcare chaplain in facilities in NE.  Her main role currently is as grandmother and community volunteer.  Her interests include reading, singing, hiking/biking, yoga, and community action. Mary sings to a large variety of houseplants as she cares for them weekly.

Mary Pat Fitzpatrick
Yoga Instructor


Mary Pat started teaching yoga for Mind Body Solutions in 2007, and has since has felt enormous gratitude for being part of this community that helps transform trauma, loss and disability into hope and potential. MP was thrilled to be introduced to Sarah’s Oasis in 2013 and has since been sharing yoga with the women who teach her about cultivating joy, humility, kindness, and compassion in her teaching and in her life.

MP is a 200 hour RYT who enjoys teaching adaptive yoga classes for MBS at the Minnetonka studio, the Courage- Kenny Rehabilitation Institute, Sarah’s Oasis and at local Veterans centers. MP is involved with MBS in several capacities.  Mary Pat has studied with Matthew Sanford, William Prottengeier, Beryl Bender Birch, and has completed the Relax and Renew ® Training levels I & II with Judith Hanson Lasater.PhD, PT.

Corrina Thomas
Spiritual Friend


Corrina Thomas is a Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration. Her ministry background includes spiritual direction, retreats and workshops. She is passionate about the New Universe Story and an evolutionary spirituality which sees the divine as the primary causality for creation, and evolution as a physical manifestation of the process of divine creative energy. She was born and raised in India and brings to her ministry a wealth of inter-religious/cultural experience. Her education includes master’s degrees in Franciscan studies, culture and spirituality, and media studies, and a Doctor of Ministry with a focus on developing and nurturing dialogue among peoples of various faith traditions.

Mary Himrod
Ignatian Volunteer

Madeleine Hallberg
House Helper


  • Recently graduated from Beloit College (WI) with a degree in international politics. Research interests in intersections of art and politics, and museums and identity.
  • Enjoy traveling, meeting new people and learning from them, and eating good food.
  • Loyal and dedicated to what I believe in.
  • Interested in global weaving and textile production and relationships between tradition and modernity.
  • Works as an assistant manager at Ten Thousand Villages fair trade store in St. Paul.
  • Live in St. Paul, grew up in Lindstrom, MN
  • I like flowers and plants.

Devon van Tyn
House Helper


Devon began serving at Sarah’s in the summer of 2016, after being drawn there both by Sarah’s well-rounded approach to healing and self sufficiency for women coming out of trauma and homelessness, and also by her desire to support New American women and women healing from trauma. While she initially supported the women with employment and housing needs, her current role is in assisting with a variety of household tasks. Devon most enjoys spending time learning from the women and listening to their experiences. Her heart is for each woman residing at Sarah’s to feel encouraged, supported and loved. She is grateful for the opportunity to come alongside them in their healing journey as they pursue their individual goals.