Twice each month, a group of employees from Securian Financial Group in downtown Saint Paul leave their offices and walk a few blocks to Catholic Charities’ Dorothy Day Center to serve lunch, and kindness, to the souls who line up there for the comfort of a hot meal.
It’s something Securian has been doing since 2001, and something they plan to continue, even after the new vision for the Dorothy Day Center is realized with Higher Ground Saint Paul.
“It’s really neat to see first hand how Dorothy Day Center is helping people,” said Rob Strange, a manager at Securian who has been coming to serve for the last 14 years.
Strange said he’s noticed longer lines of people waiting for lunch over the years, but said the positivity of people remains.
“The people who come in are very gracious and thankful for what’s being provided. It’s rare that you’re serving and you don’t hear a thank you or a sign of appreciation.”
Securian is one of the supporters who is helping make a Higher Ground Saint Paul a reality.
“The most exciting thing about the new building is the number of opportunities it provides,” he said. “I’m really impressed with the layout—I’m impressed by that whole approach.”
It’s not difficult to get folks from Securian to sign up to help. For Cheryl Sousa, volunteering is a bright spot in her day. “I like coming here to give back to the community I work and live in,” she said.
John Maslow is a dad who is working to instill positive values in his children. When lunchtime is spent volunteering, dinner is a time to talk to his kids about the experience.
“It’s a good thing to give back. They’re very appreciative that we’re here and it’s nice to be able to help,” he said. “If we were in the position we needed help, we would want someone to help us.”