Tamarisk publishes a bi-annual newsletter to keep our volunteers and supporters up-to-date with all the latest news and information.

Below is a list of some of the more current newsletters in PDF format. Just click to download and view. Feel free to send them to family and friends who you think may be interested in Tamarisk.

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Tamarisk has been featured in several newspaper articles. Click on the tabs to read excerpts from these articles. Click the Read More link to read the full articles.

“Andover Nonprofit Provides Practical, Emotional Support

Article by: Anna Pratt
Special to the Star Tribune
February 11, 2014 – 1:13 PM

When Barb Otterness and Jan Rickbeil get together each week, they might fold laundry, make supper or just sit and talk.

These are little things, but very meaningful to both women. Otterness, a part-time preschool teacher, visits Rickbeil as a volunteer through Tamarisk, an Andover-based nonprofit that provides nonmedical assistance to people dealing with life-threatening illnesses.

Eight years ago, Rickbeil, 52, was diagnosed with ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, a debilitating disease for which there’s no known cure. It’s getting harder and harder for her to get around, and her speech is greatly impaired.

Rickbeil’s three children, whose ages range from 17 to 22, act as personal care assistants to her while her husband works. When Otterness stops by the family’s home in Cedar, it gives everyone a much-needed break, Rickbeil said during their get-together last week, via a computer program that reads aloud her typed-up words.

Jeanne Haus, program manager for Tamarisk, said that’s what the organization is all about. Its mission is simple yet profound,
she said: “We’re there to provide comfort and support to people” as they near life’s end.

Read More

“A Helpful Hand to Those During Their Greatest Time of Need”

Originally published in ABC Newspapers’ Opinion section
Thursday, July 24, 2008
by Eric Hagen, Staff writer

When Pat McKeever was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s five years ago he and his wife Juanita McKeever moved from South Dakota to Anoka to be closer to their family.

Juanita McKeever found that she still needed help from others to provide 24/7 respite care for her husband, who is now 73 years old, and she found this help from a non-profit organization named Tamarisk, which provides companionship for children and adults with medical conditions.

The name “Tamarisk” comes from the Bible story of Abraham offering comfort to strangers crossing the desert. He gave them water and offered them rest under the shade of the Tamarisk tree.

Through Tamarisk, which is based out of Prairie Oak Community Church in Andover, the McKeevers met their own angel named Tom Hakala.

Hakala, 67, meets with the McKeevers once a week for about three hours. After he retired in 2002, he wanted to follow through on a commitment to himself to volunteer and after working for a couple of different groups, he eventually heard about Tamarisk.

Read More