Sarah’s Volunteers and Interns

Safia Sidek

St. Kate’s Community Leaders Program Intern:
Sarah’s Community Relations Coordinator

Safia is a senior at St. Catherine University studying Electronic Media Studies. She is passionate about storytelling as a means of advocacy and hopes to use her major to help tell the stories of diverse and underrepresented groups. Outside of school, she also enjoys reading, playing instruments, and traveling. Safia helps Sarah’s director and CSJ Ministries Foundation staff with Sarah’s communications/public relations tools like our website, virtual events, eNews, etc. Her internship is 100% virtual.

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Judith Leatherwood

CSJ Consociate Candidate
Sarah’s Affordable Housing Assistant

I believe housing is an essential need much like food and water. Why I say this? As a single mother with two children returning to Minnesota I lived in subsidized housing. The benefit of stable housing is the basic building block to what comes next in life. I was able to earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree and minor studies in Human Relations and Woman’s Studies from St Cloud State University. Education opened the door to a variety of affordable housing jobs from advocacy to maintaining compliance for owners and the State of Minnesota. I am currently a graduate student at St. John’s School of Theology at St. John’s University in Collegeville. When I am not at work or in the classroom, I enjoy “getting out there” visiting cultures where I experience interaction with people and/or nature to better understand stories at a deeper level that is unlike my own personal story.

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Juliana Eisch

St. Kate’s student:
Sarah’s Health and Wellness Coordinator

Juliana was born and raised in Maple Grove, Minnesota. She is currently a senior at St. Catherine University, majoring in exercise and sports science. Juliana will be attending physical therapy school in the fall to continue her education with hopes of specializing in women’s health. Juliana enjoys all physical activities that involve being outside, but hiking is her personal favorite. She is excited to join the health and wellness team at Sarah’s… an Oasis for Women and learn from everyone!

Mary Pat Fitzpatrick

ZOOM 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 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.

Nancy Amundson

Ignatian Volunteer: Case Work Assistant

Nancy was born in Stevens Point, Wisconsin.  She moved to St. Paul to attend school at the College of Visual Arts where she earned her BFA.  She loved the Twin Cities so much she chose to remain here.  She raised her two sons while working in the design industry in sales for two local retail companies.  Nancy retired from her professional career in June of 2018 and enjoys traveling, painting, reading and spending time with her four grandchildren.  She is a member of the Ignatian Volunteer Corps (IVC) where she has volunteered working with seniors at a day center.  Through IVC she now finds herself at Sarah’s spending time with women and helping several to find jobs, write resumes, do online schoolwork, and accomplish their other goals.

Mary McGreevy

Citizenship Mentor/
Companion for Rides and Groceries

Mary was born and raised in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. She went to college at the University of Notre Dame, and from there joined the Jesuit Volunteer Corps in Brooklyn, NY. Her professional background is in social work and nonprofit administration, but for the last seven years she has been working as Video Producer at Quiet Island Films in St. PaulShe enjoys teaching Citizenship to women from around the globe. She has three daughters and a dog named Mr. Bean. In her free time, she enjoys crossword puzzles and tap dancing. She is grateful to be part of the Sarahs community.

Peg McGraith

CSJ Consociate:
Healing Volunteer/
Companion for Rides and Groceries

Peg specializes in ‘holistic’ physical therapy, and is an integrative physical therapist and educator, combining transpersonal psychology and energy medicine in her healing approach to health and well-being. Massage, craniosacral and emergency healing inform her work. The result of a session is relaxation, enhanced breathing and a sense of wellness. Peg is a lifelong Minnesotan, mostly Minneapolis. Currently at Sarah’s, because of COVID-19, Peg has been helping more with companionship to residents by phone and running errands for needs of residents staying home. Peg is also on Sarah’s Director’s Advisory Group (DAG).

Colleen Tollefson

Companion for Rides and Appointment support

After helping found End O Line Railroad park in southwest Minnesota, working seasonally for a number of Minnesota State Parks, a four and one-half year stint at the Minnesota Restaurant, Hotel and Resort Associations and decades at Explore Minnesota, Colleen Tollefson was inspired to found Jobs & Journeys LLC.  Colleen connects adventurous folks with seasonal full-and part time hospitality jobs in great Minnesota and Wisconsin area destinations. Volunteering has been an ongoing part of Colleen’s life, including Loaves and Fishes; Saint Joseph Worker and Sarah’s Oasis with the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet; American Red Cross;   Campaign Volunteer;  and Parks and Trails Council of Minnesota. Most importantly, Mom to three great adult children and the perfect dog.

Sue Reaney

CSJ Consociate:
Sarah’s Creative Arts Coordinator

and Letter Correspondent with residents during COVID-19

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 grandmother of Anita. She is a former school psychologist and special education teacher and lives happily at Episcopal Homes.  Because of COVID and not being able to come on-site to do crafts, Sue is happily writing to each individual resident to share optimistic tidings and words of encouragement and care.

Chelsea Norton

Virtual Volunteer

Chelsea served as the St. Joseph Worker at Sarah’s last year and continues to help  from afar in California with the “Day in the Life of an Asylee” webinar and Sarah’s panels with Sarah’s staff team. She grew up in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. I then lived in St Paul and graduated from the University of Minnesota. Chelsea’s passions are culture and social justice, specifically in issues of immigration here in the United States. *Sarah’s misses Chelsea very much and is thrilled she has stayed on to help virtually.*

Mary Himrod

Household Volunteer
(on temporary break during COVID-19)

I have been a volunteer at Sarah’s since November, 2012, starting as an Ignation Volunteer. I am older than any of the women here at Sarah’s including staff members; so, I feel very grandmotherly most of the time–but not a bossy grandmother I hope! My role is to be present for the residents, and provide assistance with the upkeep of our beautiful home. You will find me watering plants, baking cookies, organizing closets, having tea with the women, and engaging in other tasks that the staff may need completed. When I have an opportunity to visit with the women, we share the memories of our youth. They were surprised that I milked cows while I was a teen-ager. They were more surprised that a young girl would milk cows in America. At Sarah’s we take care of each other. They are so hospitable. I love them very much, and I love volunteering at Sarah’s!  **We miss Mary at Sarah’s during COVID and hope she will be able to return soon!!

Katie Charlet

Household Support
(on temporary break during COVID-19)

Katie started volunteering at Sarah’s in the fall of 2019, and she enjoys helping out where needed as well as getting to know the people that make Sarah’s special. Growing vegetables and developing a permaculture-based garden on 2/5th of an acre in Hugo, MN takes up most of her energy, but she still finds time for volleyball, trips to visit family in France (and to keep her French current), and of course, time with friends and family closer to home.  As fall emerges, we usually would have Katie back at Sarah’s for help with household jobs.  We are hoping some day soon to be able to do that again on a voluntary basis when we are safe from COVID to do so.

Jessica Girard

Companion for Rides and Groceries

Sheila Flynn

Companion for Rides and Groceries

Sheila lives in St. Paul and has worked as a family medicine physician for 27 years. She is most proud of being a single mom who raised two beautiful children. She is very aware of how much the support of our friends and community matter, especially when sometimes we feel like outsiders. She is looking for a community to be a part of, and to offer some of the support that others gave her when she needed it. Sheila loves learning about different cultures and eating and cooking new foods. She enjoys walking, hiking, yoga, and light weight lifting. She also loves to read.