Skip to content

Charitable giving makes visible impact year-round

By Anna Jauhola
During the holidays, and all year round, there are many nonprofits throughout Kittson County that need your help. These organizations help many people in need from giving out food to assisting with rent, heat and other basic needs, to serving and enhancing communities and preserving history.
One of the most direct impacts charitable giving can have is providing for those in need. Heather Peterson has volunteered for the Cornerstone Food Pantry in Hallock for years, and she often sees how donations impact those the pantry serves.
“I definitely know there’s an impact,” she said. “The times I most remember are the times I know when someone is not able to work because they’re sick. You truly are helping someone that is really having a hard time.”
Like many 501(c)3 nonprofits, Cornerstone operates on donations alone and totally with volunteers, including Peterson – there are no paid salaries. While Cornerstone receives a yearly grant from Hunger Solutions Minnesota, it barely covers one month of operations. They also receive some grants for capital improvements, but the majority of what they do comes in the form of monetary donations from the public.
With these donations, they purchase food through North Country Food Bank at a big discount. Other donors give food and other items at various times and through community events.
“Through the many grateful stories our pantry friends share with us, we know that this ministry makes a difference. We are so thankful to live in a community that gives us the opportunity to make that connection happen,” Peterson said of those who donate. “It truly is the community that makes this happen.”
Across the county in Lake Bronson, the Kittson County Historical Center/Museum is constantly working on upkeep and improvements. Director Cindy Adams said she is continually amazed and thankful for donors who think of the museum each year. In the quest to preserve the county’s history, the museum board and Adams rely heavily on donations, memberships and fundraisers. While the county commissioners give an appropriation each year, this mostly covers wages for Adams’s salary, which is full-time, and three part-time employees. Operations and maintenance otherwise is covered by generous donations from the public.
“I’m amazed by how generous people have already been giving toward the parking lot and sidewalk project,” Adams said, referring to the need to replace the crumbling pavement. “I’m always excited to see how happy people are to give.”
Volunteer groups across the county also work hard to beautify and improve their communities through fundraisers and donations as well. Celebrate Hallock is a group that organizes community celebrations and an all-school reunion. Flowers for Hallock raises money while volunteers plant flowers along the main roads in the summertime, and maintains the flower garden around the gazebo downtown. The Lake Bronson Improvement Committee organizes community events and fundraisers throughout the year.
Children and senior citizens also benefit from charitable giving through various local organizations. Kittson County has a backpack program which provides afterschool snacks for children who may face hunger. KIDSon Cares helps children with basic needs by donating items to schools and directly to children such as clothing, coats, shoes, boots, hats, gloves and school supplies. They also provide scholarships to seniors each spring.
Seniors can often face hunger and loneliness, but senior citizen centers around the county and LSS food programs help alleviate that problem.
The Salvation Army assists anyone in need, whether it’s an emergency situation or during a disaster. The local chapter has helped with food, shelter, clothing, disaster relief, school supplies, Christmas basket vouchers and emergency heat assistance in the winter.
In next week’s edition of the Enterprise, there will be a full page or more of information for local and countywide nonprofit groups for your consideration for donations. Please refer to this information when considering your holiday charitable giving. There are so many worthy organizations with notable impacts right here in Kittson County.

Leave a Comment