Temp job playing ‘Elf’ leads to long term role for Cabela’s

Opportunity sometimes knocks through a family connection and a seasonal gig. That’s the story with Milo Sveum at Cabela’s in Woodbury.

It was Christmastime in 2020, and the store needed an elf, in costume, for its Winter Wonderland. Working at Santa’s side, Sveum entertained children at the sporting goods store. He was encouraged to apply by his sister, who worked there.

Door opens more more work

“When the holiday was over, I was offered a permanent job in maintenance,” he said. To take this on, he asked for long-term support from ProAct, and Case Coordinator Linda Koenig checks in Sveum and his supervisors every two weeks.

Solid feedback, inside supports

They tell him he’s a dependable and hard worker. The maintenance man said he also has a couple of “work moms” he talks to. “They look out for me and always comment about how easy going I am and that I am easy to talk to,” he said.

Sveum keeps the lot clean, checks the garbage containers, takes care of the carts and stocks shelves at times in between.

Proud of what he’s done, and what he’s doing

Koenig says he does a great job with virtually no issues. She’s proud of the way he found the job on his own and has held on to it for two years. “I have enjoyed seeing him be so successful and doing something he enjoys.”

“I’m a hard worker and keep going until everything is done,” he said.

Milo had been on ProAct mobile work crews and packed cereal bars on the Eagan work floor. Then COVID-19 came around and that option fizzled.

Still suiting up

He still gets the chance to work with children at the store, playing the Easter bunny this year. Sveum’s nieces came to pose in photos with him and a staff member from his group home brought family members to check him out.

“I like being able to make kids happy,” he said. “It was fun, but the suit is very hot.”

Store photo and website credit: Bizjournals and cabelas.com