Variety
January 11
Delfina Severi, says her goodbyes to her family through the plastic hug wall on Dec. 20 in Greccio, Italy. MUST CREDIT: Photo for The Washington Post

After months of isolation, a 'hug room' lets Italian nursing home residents touch family for the first time

GRECCIO, ITALY – It had been nine months since the nursing home closed itself off to visitors, and the director sensed the toll of isolation…
Inspired
January 8
Bethel’s Molly Korzenowski, taking notes, and Thanh Nguyen, in hat, interviewed a dancer.

Class trip to India prepared Bethel journalism students to cover social unrest at home

A trip to India prepared Bethel journalism students to cover social unrest at home.
Variety
January 8
Kevin Hendricks held up a book he wrote titled “Better Politics, Please.” The book was written to encourage people to view the new year with more

West St. Paul journalist shares 35 uplifting stories about politicians taking the high road

Kevin Hendricks is author of the self-published "Better Politics, Please: 35 Stories of Politicians Who Value Hope Over Hate."
Variety
December 31, 2020

A quarantine project is a thank-you to New York nurses

NEW YORK – "There's nothing fashionable — ever — about being in a hospital," said Linda Valentino, vice president and chief nursing officer at Mount…
Variety
December 31, 2020
Minnesota Women's Press celebrates 35 years of reporting about and by women

Minnesota Women's Press celebrates 35 years of reporting about and by women

As MWP celebrates its 35th anniversary, its leader reflects on its bold reporting, financial challenges and exciting plans for 2021.
Variety
December 31, 2020
Twin Cities volunteers bake up birthday delights for children in need

Twin Cities volunteers bake up birthday delights for children in need

Twin Cities volunteer "Sprinkle Squad" bakes up birthday joy for children in need.
Inspired
December 31, 2020
Alex Miles, 18, was honored with a Facing Race award last fall from the St. Paul and Minnesota Foundation.

After witnessing growing racial tensions, Twin Cities senior worked to make things better

Alex Miles got students and faculty to tackle tough conversations.
Local
December 26, 2020
Erika Rucks of Andover waved from the Gjallarhorn before the Minnesota Vikings’ Oct. 18 game.  The 40-year-old nurse isn’t putting off making memo

Andover nurse with incurable cancer cares for young cancer patients

Oncology nurse Erika Rucks won't let the pandemic or incurable cancer stop her.
Variety
December 25, 2020
Calligrapher Boubacar Sadeck works on a custom order in July 2018. MUST CREDIT: Phil Paoletta ORG XMIT: 146.0.2138699625

A letter from Timbuktu: Project in Mali delivers work and fun

Cards bring fabled city to life, and a livelihood for unemployed tour guides.
Variety
December 25, 2020
Georgetown University, students Maisha Maliha, left, Zahraa Hotait, Binqi Chen, Stanley Guo and Alice Lei have helped raise $25,000 for struggling stu

How college students are providing mutual aid

Pandemic-driven financial insecurity drove students to help themselves.
Variety
December 25, 2020
A walking group is one of many activities that allow women to connect at a time when social isolation is a growing concern.

New Sociables helps women in southern Twin Cities suburbs form bonds, fend off loneliness

Through hard times and pandemic shutdowns, New Sociables serves as a "lifeline."
Variety
December 25, 2020
Michael Sack (provided) ORG XMIT: MIN2010051702500435

As 2020 ends, problem-solving Minnesotans offer reasons for hope

This year threw our Problem Solvers challenges beyond all challenges but they still hunkered down and got to work.
Variety
December 18, 2020

Jeremiah Program graduate pays it forward in 12-month leadership program

The national nonprofit based in Minneapolis helps single moms find success in the workplace and on the home front.
Inspired
December 18, 2020
Damien Schoop got sober and earned his GED. He now lives at United Gospel Mission in St. Paul where he also works as a financial counselor.

St. Paul man working from home — at United Gospel Mission

Now sober, Damien Schoop hopes to help others.
Inspired
December 18, 2020
final gift With funeral attendance unlikely for many during COVID, photographs of the day can make those grieving from afar feel more included.

Minnesota photographers offer comfort through funeral and remembrance photography

Funeral photography, while still rare, is growing in the age of COVID as families seek new ways to remember.
Variety
December 11, 2020
Zachary Jordan is lessening the burden for many. Jordan is the founder of Easy EMDR, an app that makes eye movement desensitization and reprocessing t

Macalester senior makes eye movement therapy accessible and affordable with an app

Mental health problems have only increased due to the isolation and stresses of COVID-19. But this 22-year-old is lessening the burden for many with an app.
Inspired
December 11, 2020
Kym Jolstad, left, with her mother, Kathie Kemi, of Cloquet, Minn. Sales of Kathie’s Coffee benefit pancreatic cancer research.

Kathie's Coffee creator honors her Cloquet mom who is fighting pancreatic cancer

Through some good restaurant connections, this coffee for a cause was born.
Inspired
December 11, 2020
From left, KayCee Bucher, Megan Johnson and Andrew Orrison posed next to their “Official North Pole Delivery” mailbox, which is filling up with le

Twin Citians get COVID creative to bring Christmas spirit to young believers

These local elves are working overtime to give young believers a magical Christmas.
Inspired
December 7, 2020
Jordan Bolton, left, attends Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute six hours a day, six days a week. Here, he gets an assist from best friend and maj

Apple Valley basketball star defying the odds after spinal cord injury

A spinal cord injury left basketball star Jordan Bolton fighting to walk again. He's already defying the odds.
Inspired
December 5, 2020
Gospel musician Darnell Davis has kept up a determined and dutiful attitude to get him through all of 2020.

Minneapolis bandleader Darnell Davis sees gospel music as 'especially important this year'

After this summer's George Floyd memorial, bandleader Darnell Davis offers hope on his group's new album.