Known for her sparkling smile and friendly personality, Shinoa loves gospel music, playing her guitar, and coloring with her little sister. But most of all, the 28-year-old Maple Grove resident is enthusiastic about helping others. “I love helping to contribute to God’s work,” Shinoa said.
With support from Lifeworks Services, Shinoa is an active volunteer with local nonprofits. She spends one day a week stocking food at Second Harvest Heartland, another day packing medical supplies at Global Health Ministries, and two days a week helping to prepare enriched nutritional packets at another nonprofit. That life-saving food is shipped to more than 90 impoverished countries.
“I pray over the meals before they go out to the starving children,” Shinoa said. “I am a pray-er.”
As she goes about her volunteering, Shinoa is accompanied by Lifeworks Services facilitator Pauline Korpu, who supports five adults with disabilities. “Our mission is to partner with adults with disabilities in the community and give them a voice and a choice in what they want and need to live their best lives. We don’t take a one-size-fits-all approach,” explained Taylor Lubich, Lifeworks Services communications manager.
Some of the Minnesotans with disabilities who are supported by Lifeworks Services need guidance in finding employment and then help from job coaches when they are working. Lifeworks Services staff also supports people like Shinoa, who spends meaningful time as a volunteer with nonprofits. The nonprofit organization also helps them with managing and budgeting the state and federal funds they’re eligible to receive.
On April 20, Lifeworks Services will raise awareness of its role in the community at its annual celebration. It will be held at the Minneapolis Depot and hosted by WCCO-TV morning news anchor A.J. Hilton. The special guest at the event will be broadcaster, podcaster, author and activist Sheletta Brundidge, owner of SHElettaMakesMeLaugh.com, and the mother of three children with special needs.
“We are driving change by increasing opportunities for people with disabilities. It’s so important that our whole community is rallying behind our mission,” said Lubich.
Since its founding in 1965, Lifeworks Service has championed inclusion. The organization has built a record of success in advocating for people with disabilities and breaking down barriers they confront. With a staff of 180, Lifeworks Services serves more than 3000 Minnesotans with disabilities through partnerships with 400 businesses and nonprofit organizations.
The Lifeworks Annual Celebration takes place on Thursday, April 20, 2023, 5-9 p.m. at The Depot in Minneapolis. The event will be hosted by A.J. Hilton of WCCO. Special guest: media personality Sheletta Brundidge, owner of podcasting platform SHElettaMakesMeLaugh.com. Register online and purchase tickets by April 7 at https://www.lifeworkscelebration.org.
This story was provided in part by SHElettaMakesMeLaugh.com.