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Charitable gifts that give twice

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Contributing to a local charity in someone's honor or memory is one way to help organizations that in many cases have not been able to hold their usual fundraisers due to COVID-19. (Adobe Stock)
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This year many area non-profit organizations have seen a decrease in revenue due to the pandemic. Giving a gift in honor or memory of someone this Christmas is a way to give to both the recipient and the people in need of assistance in our community. Directors of area organizations shared why donations are more important than ever this year.

“Times have been very tough for everyone,” said Mari Jo Lohmeier, executive director of Kinship of the Park Rapids Area. “Non-profits have been hit hard as fundraising has virtually come to a standstill. Kinship of Park Rapids is continuing their mission of empowering youth to make positive life choices through having a relationship with a caring mentor. We have made 15 matches between youth and a caring adult in the past nine months, but finding the financial resources to continue a quality program has been a challenge. We have had to cancel all but one fundraiser. Our year-end appeal letter was recently mailed, and we are very hopeful that our community will continue to support our Kinship program as it has in the past. A donation in someone's name is a unique way to honor an extraordinary person who has touched your life. Your gift can provide a child with a lifelong mentor and friend.

Donate by mailing a check to Kinship of Park Rapids, P.O. Box 282, Park Rapids, MN 56470 or go to kinshipparkrapids.org and look for the red “Donate Today” button to give online.

The Family Safety Network has seen an increase in those seeking refuge from domestic violence during the pandemic.

“This time of year is especially difficult for our clients,” Family Safety Network director Annette White said. “Not only are they in the most challenging of circumstances, but many are unemployed and trying to provide for their children, pay utilities and keep food on the table. Christmas presents additional emotional struggles as well as fear that they will not be able to get gifts for their children. We have worked hard to be sure that no family goes without a holiday meal and a gift to open. Our families are always in need of household essentials, warm clothing and the very things that most of us take for granted like gas and groceries. We are so grateful for donations from those in the community. ”

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White said this year has been especially challenging because they have not been able to do a large fundraising event.

Family Safety Network has offices in Park Rapids, Walker and Bagley. Donate online at familysafetynetwork.net or mail a donation to Family Safety Network, PO Box 1162, Walker, MN 56484.

Many other agencies in the region that help those in need also need extra help this year. Here are a few of those and what is on their wish lists.

ARCC Emergency Shelter: Help complete the rooms at the emergency shelter at the Akeley Regional Community Center so they can open their doors to provide housing for families. Make checks payable to ARCC Emergency Shelter and mail to the Akeley Regional Community Center, P.O. Box 183, Akeley, MN 56433.

GFWC Nevis Women’s Club: The GFWC Nevis Women's Club focuses its efforts primarily in the Nevis community. This year, two of the club’s goals are adding a one-mile pollinator highway that will run adjacent to the Heartland Trail through Nevis and community outreach that supports the local school and efforts to reduce the effects of domestic violence.

Contact Kathy Carney 218-252-6654 or Jody Pribyl 763-331-2043 for more information, or send donations to Judy Anderson, 20769 Flying Eagle Dr., Nevis, MN 56467.

Headwaters Animal Shelter: Give an animal a new start in life by giving an adoption certificate to someone who is looking for an animal companion or donate funds to help pay for the food and upkeep animals need until they can find their forever home. Donate and view pets available for adoption at headwatersanimalshelter.org or mail a check to 901 Western Ave. S., Park Rapids, MN, 56470.

Healing Hearts Network: Help support families impacted by domestic violence including those who will be staying at the emergency shelter in Akeley once it opens. Donations may be sent to Healing Hearts Network, P.O. Box 266, Nevis, MN, 56467.

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Living at Home: Help seniors stay in their homes with support services such as transportation, help with errands, handyman services, light housekeeping and caregiver support. Send checks to Living at Home, P.O. Box 465, Park Rapids, MN 56470 or donate online through their facebook page or website. Donations will also help provide 200 area seniors with care packages for Christmas.

Toys for Girls and Boys and Tiny Tots: Donate toys at Coborn’s, Hugo’s, Walgreens, Ace Hardware, Jake's Barbershop, Walmart, and the radio station in Park Rapids. Cash donations or gift cards from stores or restaurants in an envelope labeled Toys for Girls and Boys can be dropped off at TruStar in Nevis or Park Rapids. Adopt a family for Christmas by contacting Tanja at 218-255-6056. Gifts can also be ordered online and delivered to: Toys for Girls and Boys, 16095 Garnet Drive Park Rapids, MN 56470.

Salvation Army: Checks payable to the Hubbard County Salvation Army may be dropped off or mailed to TruStar Federal Credit Union, Attn: Diane O’Hern, PO Box 729, Park Rapids, MN. Donations can also be made online at SalvationArmyNorth.org with a one-time gift or a monthly sustaining gift of $25 or by texting KETTLES to 91999.

Wellspring of the World: Help bring clean water to a village in Africa. Each gift will be multiplied six times through matching funds, which means a $50 gift will contribute $300 towards the goal of bringing clean water to everyone in the world by 2030. Donations can be sent to Wellspring, PO Box 936, Park Rapids, MN 56470 or at www.wellspringfortheworld.org.

Related Topics: NONPROFITS
Lorie Skarpness has lived in the Park Rapids area since 1997 and has been writing for the Park Rapids Enterprise since 2017. She enjoys writing features about the people and wildlife who call the north woods home.
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