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Building good energy at quiet oaks hospice house

| Community

At Blattner, we build wind, solar and storage projects that are powerful enough to light up thousands of homes. But of all the homes our projects bring energy to, there is one very special home to which we are particularly committed. 

Tucked in a lush, 10-acre wooded area just south of St. Cloud, Minnesota Quiet Oaks Hospice House and Respite Care is a serene, sanctuary-like atmosphere for terminally ill patients and their families to spend their final days together in peace and with support. It is comfortable and comforting. 

According to Quiet Oaks, hospice care can begin when a person’s life expectancy is six months or less. Hospice is a philosophy of care that emphasizes a person's quality of life, providing comfort and support to both the person requiring hospice services and the family during the remaining days, weeks or months of a person's life. 

Once a private residence, the house was donated 16 years ago as a permanent hospice home. At the time, the home could accommodate a handful of patients and their families. Today, Quiet Oaks has evolved into a 15,000 square-foot full-fledged hospice facility with ample space for eight residents and their families. Those special guests receive special care from the facility staff as well as hundreds of volunteers who give their time and talent to provide comfort, care, cooking and cleaning. Blattner Company has recently become an ongoing part of those volunteer efforts.  

In 2023, Blattner introduced a new field leadership program that emphasizes community service as an important leadership component. Quiet Oaks is one of several non-profit beneficiaries in the St. Cloud community. 

“We include a community service project in order to give our new or advancing employees a chance to practice their leadership, planning and teamwork skills,” said Jim Lee, Blattner’s Talent Development Partner. “We want our project leaders to be inspired to continue to make a positive difference in the communities where we live and work.” 

The concept has been well received by the trainees. “Most all of our trainees get pretty excited before they go to do their volunteer activity and all of them come back excited,” Jim said. “We hire good people. People who like to serve and want to give back.”  

Blattner’s volunteer activities at Quiet Oaks typically involve muscle or meals. “Our employees like to work outside, so landscaping duties are right up our alley,” Jim shared. Every Blattner group does something different, from shoveling rocks and raking leaves to digging in the dirt and installing landscape fabric.  






“We also do a lot of comfort food cooking for the residents and families. Soup, chili, taco bars, tater hot hotdish – easily served food that works well as a leftover is ideal,” Jim said. In 2023, 60 Blattner volunteers donated 248 service hours to Quiet Oaks.  



The impact extends beyond volunteer hours. Recently, Blattner learned of Quiet Oaks’ need to upgrade their generator, vital for the facility’s operation during extended power outages. “Being a medical facility, we have to ensure the comfort and safety of our residents at all times, in all weather and under all circumstances,” said Kristin Darnall, Director of Development and Operations at Quiet Oaks. “We would have to close the house and relocate residents to the hospital if an extended outage happened.” 

The Blattner team went to work, bringing in electrical engineers to scope out what was needed and enlisting Blattner’s Community Relations and Events Planner, Kimberly Shoberg, to assess financial assistance. “We realized that we needed to back our volunteerism with some dollars,” Kimberly said. “Not only with the generator need, but also to cover some of the administrative costs that are incurred with getting volunteers set up with supplies and supervision.”  

Blattner supported Quiet Oaks with a $35,000 charitable gift, in part through a partnership with the Marco Foundation Rebate Program.  

“The partnership with Blattner has been incredible,” Kristin said. “The way they encourage their field leaders to go out and do something to give back speaks volumes. As a small nonprofit organization, we can’t do what we do without our volunteers to clean our windows, vacuum our floors, feed our families – you can’t even quantify what that [support] allows us to do,” Kristin said, “We can focus on our mission thanks to our volunteers and companies like Blattner.” 



“It’s really an honor to get out into the community and learn about organizations like Quiet Oaks and what they do,” Jim said. “We really value their mission and what they are doing for families. It is an absolutely amazing place.” 

Quiet Oaks depends on about 250 volunteers annually to cook meals and help with cleaning and yardwork. They are also seeking grants and donations to fund the remaining $50,000 needed for a generator. To learn more, donate or volunteer, please visit