post featured image

Inspired by our #PeopleFirst philosophy, the Wishing Well is our way to better the places we live by giving to those most in need.

When You Wish Upon a Well

Share this Story

Mothers from Metro Hope Ministries Healing House and their children went on an outing at the Mall of America.

Metro Hope Ministries Healing House

Metro Hope Ministries is a drug and alcohol recovery program serving mothers and their children, women, and men in the Minneapolis area. Their mission is to restore families by ending addiction. Many of their residents are at the end of their options. Most have exhausted their support systems, lost their homes, and are unable to support themselves or their families financially. Many have lost custody of their children and have experienced unemployment and homelessness.

Metro Hope Ministries Healing House program allows women to keep their children while working with them full-time toward recovery, so they can heal and grow together rather than being separated. We were so struck by their mission, that when our Wishing Well received a wish to give these women and their children an outing at Nickelodeon Universe Amusement Park we were more than happy to grant it.

“Events like this help in so many ways,” Erin Meszaros, Case Coordinator at Metro Hope Healing House, said. “One of the biggest ways is by teaching the women we serve how to have good clean sober fun. It allows them the opportunity to bond and spend quality time with their children, something they may not know how to do or are just learning how to do. It gives the children something exciting and fun to look forward to and it leaves a lasting imprint on their sweet little hearts.”

Emily Starkman, Choice Bank Client Services Specialist, helped grant this wish for Metro Hope Healing House and was moved by the experience. “It’s such a good cause,” Emily said. “It’s about more than the kids going to the theme park. It’s encouraging mothers to play with their kids again after years of addiction.”

Metro Hope is always accepting donations, such as diapers and hygiene products. If you are interested in helping support Metro Hope Ministries’ mission, there are also volunteer opportunities available.


Teacher and student in school
Diane Tift (leftmost) and Marilyn Rixen (rightmost) surprised a nonverbal student with iPad equipped with a software program, which will help her communicate using visual cues both in school and at home.

Giving Every Student the Opportunity to Learn

We believe it’s important for all students to have the tools they need to learn and succeed. Rene Syminow, who works at Belfield Public School, shares this belief wholeheartedly. They have a non-verbal student who they wanted to ensure had the same learning experience as the other students.

So, Rene sent in a wish to our Wishing Well for an iPad equipped with the Proloquo2Go software program, which would help her communicate using visual cues both in school and at home. This communication tool opens the world to the children as they are given to opportunity to create new connections through communication. We are forever thankful for people like Rene who are looking out for young students.


People Stand Around the YWCA Giving Tree
Every year, the YMCA Christmas Giving Tree makes holiday wishes come true to those in need in the Fargo/Moorhead/West Fargo community. Photo source: Cass Clay YMCA

The Power of a Good Night’s Sleep

Many of us take for granted being able to sleep on a bed every night. A good night’s sleep is essential to be able to conquer tomorrow, but what does tomorrow look like for those not fortunate enough to have their own bed?

The Cass Clay YMCA sponsors a giving tree during the holiday season. Families in need can request a tag be put on the tree for items they need. Community members then can take a tag to purchase the item listed on it, which is then given to the family.

The Giving Tree was met with especially high demand this year. Angie Bauman, Choice Bank Business Ag Banker at Choice Bank, participates in the Giving Tree every year, taking a few tags to fulfill.

Angie saw that the tags she had grabbed from the tree were from two siblings wishing for beds to sleep in. Initially, Angie didn’t how to give these children the beds they wished for. Her heart went out to them and she happened to share this concern with Lisa Dow, Choice Bank Director of Corporate Relations.

“We just started talking about it and were like, we need to make this happen. We need to get those kids beds,” Angie said.

They worked together with Comfort King to supply these children with beds of their very own. Choice Bank purchased the bed frames and bedding with funds from the Wishing Well, and Comfort King generously provided wonderful mattresses so the kids would be able to get the daily rest needed to live their best lives.

“There’s nothing more important to your health than getting good sleep and for a mom to be able to tuck her kids in. It just hit us both right in the heart and we said we have to figure this out,” Lisa said.

Major thanks to Comfort King for their incredibly kind donation of beds and rest to these well-deserving children.


Young girl in wheelchair with two adults standing behind her
Jeff Peterson and Heather Alber surprise Addy with funds to cover her recovery equipment as she heals from an ATV accident.

Tools for Healing

Addy was in an ATV accident that fractured her pelvis in five different places. She was quickly taken to the hospital and had surgery to repair her pelvis and is now on the road to healing, attending physical therapy, and regaining her strength. Addy will continue to have check-ups as she heals and grows.

“Addy is a positive upbeat little girl who is a go-getter, and this accident is really keeping her from going and doing all the activities she loves safely and effectively,” Mindy, Addy’s mom, said.

Medical bills and traveling expenses can add up quickly. The Wishing Well covered the expense of a non-skid aluminum wheelchair ramp and medical-grade adjustable shower chair so Addy can continue to go about her life as normal while she continues to heal.


Wishing well coin

The Choice Bank Wishing Well is accepting wishes! Ready to cast yours? Visit and let us know who you would like to help out in your community.

Make A Wish