Notes on the Ladder of Hope from Our Executive Director | CEO

Photo Credit: Terra Sura Photography

“We do better when we all do better. Together, we fill the gap.”

In total, 1,240 people attended the Ladder of Hope luncheons this year. Looking out into the sea of people, gathered to listen to our stories, is a profound reminder that our community celebrates our work. Understanding that this sea of people is also willing to generously give from their personal resources to financially support our work is the perfect end to an amazing year. We raised over $530,000!

Our featured speakers, Zaheeda and Nick, shared stories of how traumatic experiences led to a loss of hope and how Guild’s services helped them throughout their recovery to move closer to health. It was incredibly moving to hear how each of them navigated very difficult circumstances and are now able to visualize and hope for a future they didn’t dream was possible.

“I like to get out and see what’s happening in the world,” Zaheeda says. “I want to see the light.” A long struggle with mental health symptoms made it difficult for to leave her apartment. Today, she and her significant other, Mike, share the joy of a good adventure, counting trips to Ely, Minnesota and Branson, Missouri among their favorites. Watch Zaheeda’s story.

“In my mind, my future goes something like this: a career, a family; 2 cats and a dog, my own place to live, lots of tattoos, a small family trip every year, and — some day – grandkids,” Nick says with a laugh. At 18, he’s dealt with multiple challenging circumstances, including mental health symptoms and diabetes. With help from our Equilibrium (EQ) Team and his personal support system, he’s excited for the next stop: college…on his way to becoming a music therapist. Read Nick’s story.

Like Nick’s and Zaheeda’s, Guild’s future is bright. We plan to lean in to what we do well and expand our services to more people. During 2019, we will be expanding our Mental Health Crisis and Intensive Residential Treatment program, thanks to the city of Savage and our partnership with Scott and Dakota Counties.

We cannot do our work without you. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for your support. As T. Mychael Rambo sang at our recent events…maybe you’re still singing it: “We do better when we all do better. Together, we fill the gap.”


Our sincerest thanks also goes out to:

Hilary, Nick, Tom, and Zaheeda for sharing their personal stories, and to Dana, Ellie, and Katherine, Guild staff, for sharing, with permission, stories about individual clients.

The Hubbard Broadcasting Foundation and two anonymous donors for pledging a total of $175,000 in matching funds. Between the two events, we raised all of the matching funds!

Bituminous Roadways, Inc. and Riverland Bank for being our Presenting Sponsors and City National Bank, Nasseff Mechanical Contractors, Region 185 financial advisors of Edward Jones, Team Incorporated, and Wilson Mc-Shane Corporation for being our Title Sponsors.

Our Supporting Sponsors: Alerus FinancialAlerus Mortgage, Bernstein Private Wealth Management, Bremer Bank, Carl Bolander, CBL Floors, Credible Behavioral Health, Dean Schiffler with Guaranteed Rate Affinity, Drake Bank, Genoa Healthcare, Gino Ward Agency of Farmers Insurance, HealthPartners, Hiway Federal Credit Union, Hometown Tire and Service, Lakeview Bank, Leadership Transitions, Maguire Agency, Medica Foundation, Monarch Healthcare Management, Mutual of America, Qualitech, United Science, Valley Staffing, and Wipfli CPAs and Consultants.

The many staff and our 35 volunteers.


See photos from both events here on Facebook. Photos by Terra Sura Photography.


December 20, 2018

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