Summer Fun! 
By Debi Burg, Child & Family Advocate

What are your favorite childhood summer memories? Swimming at the cabin? Hanging out with friends at the community pool?  Having a picnic at the park? I can recall summers spent chasing butterflies in the park, jumping through the sprinkler on a hot summer day, digging in the dirt of our vegetable garden, learning to swim in the lake, enjoying the beauty of nature, and reeling in the big fish.

Our goal for the next few months is to give the kiddos in shelter some of the experiences that many of us were so fortunate to have. With 20 children currently in shelter, our resources are dwindling and we need help to restock and prepare for the days of summer vacation. Please help us by donating supplies or financial gifts! You can help create wonderful summer memories for children and women staying in shelter.
Outdoor Fun
  • Gardening gloves and tools for adults and children
  • Watering cans
  • Child and adult swimsuits
  • Sand toys
  • Sprinkler
  • Fishing poles
  • Bug houses and nets

Rainy Day Fun
  • Paint brushes and acrylics
  • Blank canvases
  • Kinetic sand
  • Legos
  • Superhero and Disney costumes
  • Kids’ aprons and brooms
  • Movie theater tickets or gift cards
  • Journals

To those of you who have already donated - THANK YOU! 
Your support means the world to the children and women in shelter!

For more information about our summer fun wish list, please contact Debi, our Child & Family Advocate. 
Phone: 507-625-8688 ext. 105
Email: debrab@cadamn.org
Home Grown Community

“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.” –Audrey Hepburn
CADA's shelter is excited to partner once again with our neighbors, First Congregational United Church of Christ, to plant and maintain the community garden next door. Our shelter team is excited to get women and children involved in planting and harvesting vegetables and herbs from the garden.

“The garden is a great way to get women and children connected with nature,” said Andrea Gilbert, shelter manager. “Kids can learn where their food comes from and get a sense of responsibility from caring for the plants.”  

This year, residents and staff will be planting green beans, cherry tomatoes, a cucumber plant, and a variety of herbs. The wet spring has held up the planting process, so they will be starting with established plants rather than seedlings. 
Click here to learn about the positive effects gardening has on mental health.
Get on Board and Help Us Grow!

CADA is currently looking to grow our Board of Directors. Joining the Board is a great opportunity for volunteerism and leadership. 

We are especially looking for candidates who have experience or skills in: 
  • Accounting or finance management
  • Development or donor engagement
  • Communications, marketing, or public relations  
  • Building community relationships 

Our board meets monthly. Enthusiasm and time to devote to the organization are essential. 

For more information, please contact the Executive Director, Jason at: jasonm@cadamn.org 
Board Member Spotlight: Marielynn Herrera

Marielynn Herrera, the New American Families Program Manager at the YWCA, joined CADA's board in March. 
Can you share a bit about your professional background?
I was first exposed to the nonprofit field through domestic violence work. I started as an advocate in the courts in Connecticut…and then I started to work in legal services, so I was the coordinator for our legal services at a crisis center in the southern part of Connecticut.

It was probably the best experience of my life and also the most challenging because this work is not easy. With that background, I really wanted to work with marginalized communities. So, I’m working right now as a program manager for an immigrant and refugee service at the YWCA of Mankato.
What do CADA's mission and work mean to you?
The organization really gives people dignity when oftentimes they've been stripped of that. Some of the most powerful moments happen either in shelter or when an advocate is working with someone. It almost brings tears to my eyes, but I once had a client, and she was someone who I worked with and got to know better later on. [Our agency] was planning to talk about her in a ceremony and I learned that she, for the first time in her life, put her hands on a computer in our organization. That's when she first started to become who she really wanted to be.

I think that's the power of what organizations like CADA can do. There is an opportunity for women or anyone else suffering to be who they really want to be after all of that.

What are you excited to bring to CADA's board of directors?
One of the things I always think about first and foremost is through my own lens of what it means to be excluded. I'm the only woman of color on the board. I feel as if – not like I have a duty – but I feel as if that perspective is so much more important when you have someone there who has a lived experience of what it is like to be excluded.

Also, from my background my mother experienced domestic violence, my aunts have, my grandmother has. So, this is a personal experience for me – especially seeing my mom navigate the domestic violence community when she was going through it and what that meant for her. She didn’t have anyone.

We continue to need to make bridges and paths to ensure that we’re not leaving people out. That’s one thing, and I hope we can start having those conversations as we consider the changing demographics of our community.

On the other side – the thing I like to do professionally is analytical work and evaluation. I really like to look at things and see how they’re working and how we can make things better.

What fictional character can you most identify with?
The first person that comes to mind is Hermione Granger. I like her because she loves to learn and that’s kind of me! She obviously uses her learning for good. To some degree that’s who I am!

What do you do to care for yourself and relax?
Lately what I’ve been doing is reading more. I’m in a book club so that’s helped a little bit, too! They’ve kept me reading some good books!

I have a dog – he’s just my favorite! I take a break by being with him, walking, and going to the park. It gives me some opportunities to be outside!
Safe Space to Build Relationships

Since we just wrapped up May, which is Supervised Visitation Awareness Month, we thought we would share some information about CADA's Keep Me Safe Program!

Keep Me Safe provides supervised visits and safe exchanges for families that have experienced domestic or sexual violence, families in the child protection system, and families experiencing separation or divorce. For many families who experience domestic or sexual violence, supervised visits or safe exchanges play an important part in their overall safety plan. CADA has Keep Me Safe locations in Mankato, Saint Peter, and New Ulm.

Supervised visits allow children to visit a non-custodial parent in a safe, supportive, conflict-free environment. Seeing the visiting parent can help decrease a child’s feelings of rejection or self-blame, and can help decrease fear that the child will not see their parent again. Keep Me Safe staff help families define what success looks like for them. Supervised parenting time and exchanges gives families the opportunity to find a new normal where everyone is treated with respect and without judgment.

In 2018, Keep Me Safe supervised 1,494 visits and exchanges for a total of 195 children from 86 families. For more information about Keep Me Safe, click here.
LGBTQ+ Pride Month 
In celebration of June as LGBTQ Pride Month, CADA is raising awareness about the impact of domestic and sexual violence on LGBTQ+ communities. We recognize that violence impacts people regardless of gender, identity, or sexuality. CADA is committed to providing a welcoming and affirming space for all victims and survivors who need to access our free and confidential advocacy services.

Research shows that LGBTQ+ folks experience abuse at equal or higher rates than individuals outside of these communities. There are some unique elements of abuse that people who identify as LGBTQ+ might experience. 
Three considerations that are important for our community in order to help reduce violence among and towards LGBTQ+ individuals are:
  1. According to the Human Rights Campaign, transgender women experience highest rates of violence (https://bit.ly/2yIOt0W). We can all take steps to gain more knowledge about the lived experienced of people who identify as transgender and be intentional in using their preferred names and pronouns (he, she, they).
  2. There is a fear that discussing abuse within the LGBTQ community will reflect poorly on the community and fuel or entrench negative views toward the LGBTQ community. We can combat this by simply recognizing that violence affects all people.
  3. People within the LGBTQ community often experience barriers to accessing services or resources. Many people have found that when they’ve reached out for help, they encounter forms of discrimination like homophobia or transphobia. Organizations can take time to assess their services and how they welcome people from LGBTQ+ communities. 
While we celebrate Pride month, we can all work together to support everyone in our community and embrace the strength of our diversity.

To learn more about LGBTQ Relationship Violence, click here:  

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CADA Offices

Blue Earth County: 507-625-8688
Brown County: 507-233-6663
Faribault County: 507-526-527
Le Sueur County: 507-934-5583
Nicollet County: 507-934-5583
Sibley County: 507-233-6666
Waseca County: 507-835-7828
Watonwan County: 507-375-3040

24-hour Crisis Line: 1-800-477-0466

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