Ecumen Team Member Gives Back to Ecumen to Honor Family Friend.

By CorrineMcCallum | July 26, 2022

Shoreview, Minn., July 26, 2022 — Ecumen, a nonprofit senior living organization, is always looking for ways to support its team members and those it serves through donations. Sometimes, those donations have a very special meaning, and in this case, it was one of Ecumen’s very own team members who found a way to serve her own family and Ecumen communities at the same time.

Mel Sullivan, Ecumen’s Senior Vice President, and Chief People Officer made a donation to Ecumen Lakeview Commons in Maplewood, Minn., and Ecumen Oaks & Pines in Hutchinson, Minn., in a way that empowered our team members and honored a beloved family friend. Sullivan’s close family friend was diagnosed with cancer, and during her battle, she made hats to donate to an organization after she beat cancer. Along with the many hats, she also had supplies that would offer someone else the opportunity to create hats. Sadly, she died before having the chance to designate an organization.

As time went by, Sullivan found herself with these hats and supplies not knowing what to do with them. She connected with the life enrichment managers at Ecumen Lakeview Commons and Ecumen Oaks & Pines, and immediately, these two innovative team members (Jen Rasmussen and Melanie Zelm) knew exactly how to put these donations to good use.

The warm heads and happy faces at Ecumen communities were a testament to this gift and a special way to honor Sullivan’s family friend. “Being able to honor my friend while working with grateful and responsive team members and giving back to those we serve is just one reason why I stay with Ecumen,” Sullivan said.

When you give to Ecumen, your support helps to further our mission to provide housing services, compassionate care and innovative services to the people we serve. Consider a gift today by visiting

Warm Heads, Happy Faces program: senior woman at an Ecumen community wearing a knit hat and smiling.
Warm Heads, Happy Faces program: Ecumen activity director and staff unboxing knit hats for residents.
Warm Heads, Happy Faces program: senior woman at an Ecumen community wearing a knit hat and smiling.

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About Ecumen

Ecumen is a nonprofit provider, developer and operator of award-winning living spaces and innovative technology and services for older adults. Mission-driven since its founding in 1862, Ecumen’s legacy of service is a reflection of a commitment to honoring those it serves. Ecumen is based in Shoreview, Minn., and operates properties and services in multiple states, and provides new development, management and consulting services. Housing options include cooperative living, independent living, assisted living, memory care, short-term rehabilitation and long-term care communities. Its diverse in-home and community-based services include home care, hospice, physical and occupational therapy, adult day services, technology products and an online durable goods medical store. For more information, visit