by Sal Mondelli
Chief Executive Officer

Hall of Fame baseball player Jackie Robinson once said, “A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.”

When a person makes a positive impact in the life of another, it produces a lasting legacy. Being a positive force in another person’s life can make all the difference in the trajectory of their life story. It could be as simple as smiling at someone, or listening to a person tell you their troubles. Sometimes, as in Jackie Robinson’s case, it takes courage to set an example for others to follow. Ultimately, when we are intentional about impacting others, there are immeasurable benefits to the entire community.

360 Communities has a wide array of options for anyone looking to make an impact in Dakota County. Our staff and more than 1,300 volunteers work to prevent violence, ensure school success and promote long-term sel360CommLogo_CMYK_Icon-onlyf-sufficiency. Each program area works in concert so that we can provide the best support. Whether a person enters our food shelf, a shelter, a resource center, or a family support worker’s office in a school, we are asking questions to see what problems they are facing and what resources they might need to help them succeed. In 2015, 18,000 people were positively impacted by 360 Communities. Here are some examples:

  • A woman who was controlled, threatened, and beaten by an abusive boyfriend.
  • A first-time father who is learning parenting skills to help his child build the cognitive and social skills to be ready for kindergarten.
  • A retiree who ran out of savings and couldn’t afford medication or groceries.
  • A home child care provider who is enhancing her skills and training to better assist the children under her care to be ready to learn once they start school.
  • A child whose father is not in the picture and whose mother is working two low wage jobs to make ends meet.
  • A rape survivor who has lost her sense of security.

The barriers to success that our clients face are wide-ranging, often complex, and require multiple services and resources to address. With a holistic approach and collaboration with other agencies, 360 Communities is able to change the game for people with hope, support, and much more. 360 Communities has piloted across agency programs a Self-Sufficiency Matrix: an index that tracks a person’s progress over time through a wide array of health indicators, from food insecurity, to safety, to housing stability and more. Eighty-eight percent of the clients in the pilot showed significant progress toward their self-sufficiency goals. 360 Communities is changing lives and strengthening communities to a new measurable degree.

And community support is integral to our success. By donating, volunteering, or participating in an upcoming event, you can help us have a major impact on the health of your community. Visit to find out more about the ways you can get involved and make an impact in your community through 360 Communities, such as:

  • During the remaining weeks of March, you can have a greater impact on hunger when you support a 360 Communities food shelf. Minnesota FoodShare’s March Campaign is one of the best opportunities of the year to stretch your food donation dollars. Not only does 360 Communities have access to discount food programs year-round, but during March, every donation to our network of five Dakota County food shelves qualifies 360 Communities for a proportional share of Minnesota FoodShare’s grant money.
  • On April 27, you can show your solidarity with survivors of sexual assault by participating in the Seventh Annual Sexual Assault Awareness Walk in Apple Valley. There will be a short program beginning at 7:30 p.m., followed by a candlelight walk at the city of Apple Valley’s municipal building.
  • On May 21, 360 Communities’ Second Annual Steps for Success benefit walk will be held at Thomson Reuters in Eagan. Form teams and raise money to support our innovative Partners For Success school-based program. Look for registration details at A recent study by the University of Minnesota showed that for every dollar invested in Partners For Success, at least $5 is returned to the community in social benefits.
  • 360 Communities provides sexual and domestic violence programming to more than 3,000 people annually. On June 25, motorcyclists will come together at the Rosemount VFW for the Third Annual Stop the Cycle motorcycle ride. Aug. 29 is our 23rd Annual Lewis House Charity Golf Tournament. Both events will support 360 Communities Lewis House.
  • Consider volunteering at one of our food shelves, family resource centers, or shelters. Fill out our volunteer interest form at

Please check to see if your employer will match your donations of time and/or money. Our website has a “Double the Donation” resource for you to look up what your company may be willing to match.

Every person in our community matters. Help make a difference with an organization that exists to support those with the most need. 360 Communities is a vehicle for transformative impacts in Dakota County and beyond.