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About Minnesota Good Works

Did you know that according to the FBI, Minnesota has the 3rd highest trafficking rate in the US? What makes this so heartbreaking is how difficult it is for exploited/trafficking survivors to find the hope and healing they need to find a sustainable path forward.

As human trafficking is a major problem happening everywhere in Minnesota, our focus is on the survivors. Through our Enrichment Program we aim to provide the hope and healing survivors need to find a sustainable path forward. That support happens through mentorship, resources, and care that empowers exploited/trafficking survivors to become strong and resilient so they can achieve a life of independence, purpose, hope, and transformation. We are a 501(c)3 organization with strong community partners who work with trafficking survivors to find the long term care they need.


We support and empower exploited/trafficking survivors through certified trauma-filled mentorship (Our Enrichment Program) so they can achieve a life of independence, purpose, hope, and transformation.


We envision a future where our local Minnesota communities say “enough” with letting exploited/trafficking survivors fall back into the darkness without giving them the support they need.

Guiding Principles

  • Collaborate with Partners to fill gaps
  • Manage all resources through strong stewardship
  • See and treat all people through the lens of Christ
  • Leaning into the Spirit to guide and direct our organization

*Though we are a faith-based organization, there are no faith requirements to attend programs and receive services from Minnesota Good Works.


Executive Director and Founder

Donna Martin

Donna Martin is the Founder and Executive Director of Minnesota Good Works. She has been with Anoka County for the past ten years in various roles and currently is in an Eligibility Specialist and Estate Recovery role. She started MGW with a vision as she heard the Lord speak to her, “His Hands, Our Feet”. To learn more about this, go to our history page on the website. “Engage, Cultivate and Restore” is her lifelong passion to do whatever it takes to carry this mission out. She enjoys inspiring collaboration within her board and partners, and believes when we work well together removing stigmas and checklists, we begin to meet people right where they are and are able to make a greater impact.

She has two adult children and is the proud grandma of two grand “littles.” Her heart beats for the community and those who are hidden, overlooked, or unseen. It’s her belief that it’s not someone else’s job to love those in need, but rather, it’s our collective responsibility to make a difference together. She enjoys time with her “littles” and her boxer Thor.

Board President

Matthew Elhadad

Matthew joined the Minnesota Good Works board as President in July of 2023. Matthew has been following Minnesota Good Works since inception and has wanted to find an applicable way he could leverage his experience and abilities to help the cause. Matthew’s professional experience includes service on multiple for-profit boards as well as helping organizations transition from start-up to growth and maturity stages. As a father, coach, mentor, and Christ follower, Matthew is passionate about finding ways to help those in need. In particular, as he learned more about how trafficking is a local community issue, he felt compelled to serve our mission.

Founding Member

Jake Urton

Jake Urton is a founding board member of Minnesota Good Works and works in the Anoka County Economic Assistance Department. Because of his work, he has a great appreciation for the people we support through MGW. He was blessed to grow up in an interracial family as it’s given him an appreciation for people from different cultures and backgrounds.  

Jake joined the board because of  compassion toward the mission and vision of MGW. He is passionate about going beyond temporary fixes for the social issues we address. He believes that solving core issues is crucial to the lifelong success of the people we serve.  

Jake was born with cerebral palsy (CP) and non-verbal learning disorder (NLVD). The doctors stated he would likely never be able to walk. After close to fifty surgical procedures, he has defied all odds! He has brought awareness to CP, NVLD, and people with “disabilities” by speaking to teachers, doctors, social workers, and students. In his spare time, he enjoys writing short stories and making people laugh. Jake is known for his constant smile and the positivity he brings into every situation. 


Mike Cunningham

Mike is a Marketing professional of 16 years who is currently the Marketing Director of YouthWorks, a youth missions organization.  He is passionate about his faith in Jesus and loves to use his talents and experience in marketing to support organizations focused on serving others and making an impact.

Mike enjoys his family time with his wife Jenny and three kids (Leona, Violet, and Isaiah) where they spend time on fun projects and relaxing on their 15 acre hobby farm. As an extreme extrovert, Mike loves the company of others by cherishing a tasty meal and a good conversation.


Kelly Pierson

Kelly joined the Minnesota Good Works (MGW) board as Treasurer in December of 2023. Kelly was invited to attend the 2023 Gala and was inspired through the MGW mission to make a difference by helping in her areas of expertise. Kelly is currently a Controller for a large performance improvement company as well as in the accounting profession for over 20 years. She has also contributed as board presidents and treasurer of other non-profit organizations in the past. Kelly is a Christ follower, wife, and mother of 3 boys. She has a servant heart and enjoys finding new and inventive ways to serve and improve the community.

MGW Ambassadors

MGW Ambassador

Cory Svihla

Mental Health Ambassador

Gary Sandberg

Gary Sandberg has a career history working as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, retiring from practice at the end of 2019. His specialties besides family relationships include trauma, addiction, emotional and mental health issues. In addition, he has been a Licensed Pastor with a focus in family ministry. He still enjoyed providing services for weddings and funerals on an occasional basis.

Gary is married to Renate and combined they have 5 adult daughters, 12 grandchildren (1 is in heaven) and 1 great grandson. Family is an important part of his life. He and Renate enjoy traveling, often long road trips, and exploring all the beauty God has provided in nature.

Gary was the founder of the Celebrate Recovery group that now meets at Riverdale Church. This group formed 20 some years ago as Gary saw the need to support people going through what Celebrate Recovery calls “hurts, habits and hang-ups”.
His passion for helping hurting people drives his desire to help others and he firmly believes that hurting people matter to God. Helping the hurting is one way he gives back for all God had done for him.

Donna’s Story

In September 2019, Donna experienced trafficking on her and her neighbor’s doorsteps in a quiet part of Ramsey. Their doorsteps were covered in blood and a young man in his 20s couldn’t even speak his name in English.

While in prayer during February of 2021, Donna kept hearing His Hands, Our Feet. Most people have heard of “being the hands and feet” so she kept asking what this meant. She learned quickly as the Lord spoke a specific mission to her and she drew it out with five pillars of service. Exploitation/Sex Trafficking is the first pillar with four others coming soon!

His Hands, Our Feet was spoken directly to her saying, “You and others will be walking out what I have commissioned ALL to do; love others by meeting their needs while offering hope and opportunity to self-sustaining freedom.” She turned to her Bible and this is the verse she came upon:

“And let our people also learn to maintain good works, to meet urgent needs, that they may not be unfruitful.” ~ Titus 3:14 NKJV

Donna knew it was time to quit thinking about helping more and take a leap of faith. Minnesota Good Works was incorporated on April 29, 2021.