Staff Q&A: Mindy Teele, Hag Sameach Outreach Coordinator

Learn how hundreds of volunteers contributed their time and talents to help make the holiday season brighter for the 706 individuals from 342 families in our community. That’s 173 more people than last year!

How long have you worked with the Hag Sameach Program?

Five years.

How many people volunteered with the Hag Sameach program in 2019?

Mindy Teele, Hag Sameach

We had 334 volunteer shifts that were filled for the winter holidays, along with at least 75 people who touched the Passover part of the program. Plus, I have Hag Sameach co-chairs who are my fearless leaders in helping make the program run so smoothly! 

In addition to the individuals who signed up to volunteer, I also had a variety of groups who were involved in the program, including: Camp Olami LIT’s, Camp TEKO seventh graders, MN Hillel, the Minnesota Rabbinical Association, JFCS NextGen, PJ Library, Minneapolis Jewish Federation, and so many more! 

What do Hag Sameach volunteers do to help?

The main volunteer opportunities for the winter program include organizing/sorting donations/creating gift baskets from donated gifts; bagging (gathering gift items from our gift inventory for individuals and families); gift wrapping; and delivering the gifts to individuals and families in the community.

This is a wonderful program that has set seasonal shifts, but is able to accommodate volunteer schedules in the off-season. If someone wants to come for a couple of hours, or if a family or group want to coordinate a meaningful volunteer experience, we are able to provide that in a fun and fulfilling way.

What is your favorite part about your job and working with JFCS volunteers?

I love that this program is a great fit for all types of volunteers. The variety of opportunities available allow for people to find the perfect fit for them to participate! I love knowing the impact Hag Sameach has on people, whether they receive assistance for one year, or have for multiple years. It’s important they know they are not forgotten and that hundreds of donors and volunteers want to embrace the community and help them celebrate the holidays.

Finally, I love the outreach that is such an important part of my role. Connecting with people from all different organizations, synagogues, friend groups and families who want to be more engaged in community service and building relationships with them is so rewarding to me.

Anything else to add?

We are currently in need of new gift wrap co-chairs. This role entails a little bit of time for set up, but otherwise it is three days of fun, festive, and intense work during the holiday season. Anyone who is interested and wants to learn more should contact me!

To learn more about volunteering with Hag Sameach, contact Mindy Teele at or 952-542-4870.