Wolner hopes to get the word outPeggy Wolner doesn’t want the focus to be on her. Instead, the new counselor for Catholic Charities’ Red Wing branch wants to get the word out about what the Twin Cities based non-profit does in the community.
By: Sarah Gorvin, The Republican Eagle
Peggy Wolner doesn’t want the focus to be on her. Instead, the new counselor for Catholic Charities’ Red Wing branch wants to get the word out about what the Twin Cities based non-profit does in the community.
“I’ve been spending the first month going to organizations,” she said. “Just getting out there.”
Wolner took over the counselor position at the beginning of January, when Jeanne Follstad resigned after nine years in the position.
“I would really like to give credit to (her) too, for all the work (and) years that she put in here,” Wolner said.
Now, as the single employee of the Catholic Charities’ Red Wing branch, Wolner will offer counseling and therapy services for people suffering from anything from depression, anxiety or grief to relationship problems.
And while the organization has the word “Catholic” in its name, Wolner said the counseling services are open to anyone, regardless of religion or their ability to pay.
“There are no judgments. We help anybody that needs it,” she said, adding that the services are for people from all walks of life, not just the “down and out.”
Wolner, a licensed independent clinical social worker, is a Red Wing native and spent years working for Fairview Red Wing Medical Center before taking a job in Northfield as an end-of-life and grief counselor.
Now, after spending a year and a half working outside of Red Wing, Wolner said she’s glad to be back.
“I love it,” she said. “When I go out to organizations now, they’re saying, ‘Where have you been, Peggy?’”
Her office is located in the Friendship House, what Wolner called a “one-stop shop” for people in need. Other outreach programs, like the HOPE Coalition and the Sexual Assault Resource Agency, are located in the same Eighth Street building.
“I like being here in the midst of everything that happens,” Wolner said.
And while she’s no longer dealing solely with people nearing the end of their lives, Wolner said there really isn’t a transition period for her.
“You’re seeing an individual,” she said. “Whether they’re dying or living, they’re people. Everyone I’m seeing is a human being who may have needs: Physical, emotional, spiritual.”
It’s all part of Wolner’s philosophy that each person has the strength to overcome their own problems.
“I see myself more as a guide,” she said. “Every individual has it within themselves to do what they think they can’t do. … Counseling provides tools and resources a person may need.”
Now, Wolner said she’s grateful that she has the opportunity to work with and help people in Red Wing and the surrounding community.
“It’s humbling for me,” she said. “I am privileged.”