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United Way of Southwest Minnesota
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Brittany Gatzke is a senior at Southwest Minnesota State University and is double majoring in Early Childhood Elementary Education and Early Childhood
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United Way of Southwest Minnesota, the City of Granite Falls, Granite Falls Kiwanis, Bursch Travel and The Sawmill are excited to bring a Born Learnin
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Help area children get a good start to the school year by providing some new school supplies or hygiene products.  Donation collection barrels an
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United Way of Southwest Minnesota has elected new officers and directors for the organization for the 2014-15 fiscal year.  Joining the board as
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The team of Ambassadors at the Lyon County Courthouse will be serving up Cold Stone Creamery on Wednesday, July 9th from 12:00pm-2:30pm outside the co
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July 17, 2014
Gatzke Completes United Way Internship

Brittany Gatzke is a senior at Southwest Minnesota State University and is double majoring in Early Childhood Elementary Education and Early Childhood Intern_Gatzke.pngSpecial Education. She is originally from Hitchcock, SD. 

Gatzke successfully completed a 60 hour internship with our organization this morning. Her internship was focused on the United Way of Southwest Minnesota Success By 6 efforts. She assisted with many projects including writing/updating lesson plans for our mobile learning home daycare initiative. 

Pictured: Brittany Gatzke and United Way Education Coordinator, Stephanie Cordes.


July 14, 2014
Born Learning Trail Open & Ribbon Cutting Planned

United Way of Southwest Minnesota, the City of Granite Falls, Granite Falls Kiwanis, Bursch Travel and The Sawmill are excited to bring a Born Learning Trail (BLT) to Granite Falls to help parents and caregivers support early education and active learning for young children. The Born Learning Trail is a fun, easy way for Granite Falls parents, grandparents and caregivers to use our outside environment to help teach children the skills that are necessary for their success in school. The series of 10 signs are designed to help adults interact with children to boost language and literacy development and also support early learning in everyday moments.

 

The Born Learning Trail was installed in Granite Falls on Thursday, July 10, 2014 along the sidewalk that borders Minnesota Avenue near the playground and shelter. The BLT is now open for use by area children and families. The public is invited to the Ribbon Cutting & Grand Opening on July 24, 2014 at 11:30am at Trail. For more information, contact United Way of Southwest Minnesota at 507-929-2273 or log onto www.UnitedWaySWMN.org.

 

United Way is an autonomous, local organization working to create lasting changes in people’s lives and the communities in Lincoln, Lyon, Murray, Yellow Medicine, and portions of Cottonwood, Lac qui Parle, Nobles and Redwood Counties.


July 10, 2014
New Board Members and Officers for United Way of Southwest Minnesota

United Way of Southwest Minnesota has elected new officers and directors for the organization for the 2014-15 fiscal year.  Joining the board as new directors are Mark Schnaser, Marshall, Taylor Corporation; Christie Hindbjorgen, Marshall, Home School Mom & Community Volunteer/Advocate; and Abby Wikelius, Marshall, Lyon County Attorney’s office.

 

Officers are President, Josh Bonnstetter, Slayton, Home Federal Bank & Family Farm; Past President, Lisa Rademacher, Lynd, SW/WC Service Cooperative; Vice-President, Theresa Zaske, Balaton, Schwan’s Shared Services, LLC; Treasurer, Michelle Warme, Marshall, Schwan’s Shared Services, LLC; Engagement/Resource Development Chair, Ben Alcorn, Marshall, U.S. Bank; Success By 6 Chair, Sue Skramstad, Marshall, SW/WC Service Cooperative; and Community Impact Chair, Jon Rowe, Lyon County, Minnesota Department of Corrections.

 

Returning directors are Amie Ascheman, Minneota, Runchey, Louwagie & Wellman, PLLP; Jeff Cordes, Marshall, Schwan’s Food Service; Brenda Denelsbeck, Porter, U.S. Bank;  Kristi Flaten, Granite Falls, Bursch Travel; Pete Hellie, Hanley Falls, North Star Mutual Insurance Company; 

New_Board_2014.png

Marissa Kunde, Marshall, Title and Abstract Services; Roger Miller, Marshall, Bank of the West; Jeremy Gossen, Marshall, Bremer Bank; John Thomsen, Marshall, U.S. Bank; Matt Weller, Marshall, Centrol Crop Consulting; Janel Wartner, Marshall, Subway & Taco Del Mar; Eddy Unoh, Marshall, Schwan’s Global Supply Chain; and Tim O'Leary, Tyler, Lyon-Lincoln Electric Cooperative, Inc.

 

United Way is an autonomous, local organization working to create lasting changes in people’s lives and the communities in Lincoln, Lyon, Murray, Yellow Medicine and portions of Cottonwood, Lac qui Parle, Nobles and Redwood Counties.

 

New board members (L to R):  Abby Wikelius, Lyon County Attorney's Office; Christie Hindbjorgen, Homeschool Mom and Community Advocate; and Mark Schnaser, Taylor Corporation.edicine, 


July 10, 2014
Stuff the Bus School Supply Drive

Help area children get a good start to the school year by providing some new school supplies or hygiene products.  Donation collection barrels and boxes are in place at Shopko, Wal-Mart, Marshall Area YMCA, County Fair, HyVee, WOW!, Marshall Radio Station, Minnwest Bank Marshall and Dawson, Bank of the West – Ivanhoe, Marshall and Minneota, Granite Falls Chamber Office, Lyon-Lincoln Electric Cooperative, and the United Way of Southwest MN office, 109 S. 5th Street, Marshall.  People can also help Stuff the Bus by bringing school supplies to the WOW! sponsored Marshall Radio Open Happiness  event at the Marshall National Guard Armory on Tuesday, July 22, 4:00-6:00 pm, where a school bus will be available to place supplies.  Also, on July 25 from 10 – 6 Marshall Hy-Vee is hosting a Stuff the Bus event with in store sales and a bus in the parking lot to “stuff.” Additionally Lincoln County 4H is collecting supplies at the Lincoln County Fair, July 31 – August 3.

 

Direct contributions (noted on the memo line for school supply purchase) can also be sent to United Way of Southwest MN, P.O. Box 41, Marshall, MN 56258. Donations are accepted year round for this project and help the United Way purchase necessary items in bulk at a low cost.

 

The collected supplies and backpacks are distributed to 26 participating schools within the United Way of Southwest Minnesota’s service area, assisting an estimated 3,500 students.  School staff ensures the supplies reach those who really need some extra support.  Last year, approximately 1000 children at 16 schools were helped with backpacks and school supplies from this project.

 

This project is coordinated by United Way of Southwest Minnesota with support from the Lyon County Alliance for Youth and Families. Generous support from the community also makes this project a success. Salvation Army donates backpacks and financial support, churches, organizations, businesses and employee groups collect supplies and financial donations and partnerships with Western Printing, Marshall Radio, WOW! and Marshall Hy-Vee help with both advertising  Stuff the Bus and coordinating events to collect supplies. Southwest Coaches is providing a bus to be on site for two collection events this year.

 

Groups still interested in taking part in collection efforts should contact United Way right away to find out what supplies are especially needed this year. Volunteers are needed to help sort supplies on August 6 between 8:15 and 12:00. Sorting occurs at the Marshall National Guard Armory. Volunteers are needed to deliver supplies to schools as well on August 7. Please contact the United Way to sign up.

 

Canby 4 Kids and the United Way of Southwest Minnesota are also collecting supplies for Canby Elementary and St. Peter’s in Canby.  School supplies can be brought to the Canby Elementary school throughout July and into the first week of August or to the Canby 4 Kids booth at National Night Out on August 5th at Central Park in Canby.  Financial donations can be mailed to the United Way of Southwest Minnesota office, please note Canby Stuff the Bus in the memo.

 

For additional information on this project please call United Way, 507-929-2273 or visit our website www.unitedwayswmn.org.    


July 8, 2014
Did You Know?

LRBS1.pngUnited Way of Southwest Minnesota (UWSWMN) is a proud supporter of the Little Red Bookshelf initiative. Little Red Bookshelves can be found at B&A Sundance Auto Care, Big Stone Therapies Avera Marshall, Christ United Presbyterian Church (Esther's Kitchen), Graham Tire Marshall, Lyon County Law Enforcement Center, Liberty Laundry, Lyon County Court Administration, New Horizons Crisis Center, Prairie Pride/Tires Plus, Rain & Shine Laundry, Southwest Health and Human Services, Western Community Action, Western Mental Health Center.

 

UWSWMN is responsible for stocking the bookshelf at the Rain & Shine Laundry, located in the back of the Bagels & Brew LRBS2.pngbuilding. Little Red Bookshelves help to recirculate children’s books back into the community where they are made available for families to reuse at no cost. Children can bring a book home to keep or share. Books allow waiting time to be more family friendly while children wait for services

 

If your community has a similar project in need of additional books, please contact UWSWMN at 507-929-2273 or unitedway@unitedwayswmn.org to see how we can partner with your community. 

The United Way of Southwest Minnesota serves Lincoln, Lyon, Murray, Yellow Medicine, and portions of Cottonwood, Lac qui Parle, Nobles, and Redwood counties.

 


July 8, 2014
I Scream, You Scream....We All Scream for Cold Stone!

The team of Ambassadors at the Lyon County Courthouse will be serving up Cold Stone Creamery on Wednesday, July 9th from 12:00pm-2:30pm outside the courthouse. Look for the Cold Stone truck on 6th Street.

 

A delicious mid-week treat is just $4.00 with proceeds benefiting United Way of Southwest Minnesota. See attached flyer for details. Treat a friend. Treat a co-worker. Treat yourself.  CLICK HERE for the flyer.


July 3, 2014
Lynd's Little Free Library

Lynd01.pngUnited Way of Southwest Minnesota is a proud supporter of Lynd's Little Free Library. It is located in front of the Lynd Community Center and was a gift to the community from Judy & Carl Klatt. The structure contains a constantly changing collection of books donated and able to be shared by people of all ages and backgrounds. It is open to the public and free of charge. It has a "take a book, leave a book" policy. The United Way of Southwest Minnesota will be just one of the groups donating books to the effort. If you have a Lynd02.pngbook you'd like to share please leave them at the Lynd City Office.

If your community has a Little Free Library in need of additional books, please contact the United Way of Southwest Minnesota at 507-929-2273 or unitedway@unitedwayswmn.org to see how we can partner with your community. 

Lynd03.jpgThe United Way of Southwest Minnesota serves Lincoln, Lyon, Murray, Yellow Medicine, and portions of Cottonwood, Lac qui Parle, Nobles, and Redwood counties.


July 2, 2014
Special Community Project Grant Deadlines Announced by United Way of Southwest Minnesota

United Way of Southwest Minnesota (UWSWMN) announces that $12,000 has been targeted for use by area non-profit organizations to strengthen UWSWMN’s commitment to activities or programs that are aligned with the UWSWMN’s Goals for the Common Good and are directed at development and support for area residents.

 

United Way of Southwest Minnesota (UWSWMN) unites people and resources to improve lives in the area with a focus on education, income (financial stability), health, safety & well-being, and hunger—the building blocks for a good quality of life. United Way achieves these goals by convening the community to address key issues, collaborating to achieve measureable impact, and connecting human and financial resources.

 

All Special Community Project Grant applications will be reviewed by a team of local volunteers who will make recommendations regarding funding to the United Way of Southwest Minnesota board of directors.

 

Application deadlines will be August 29, 2014 and January 30, 2015.  Organizations can download the Special Community Project Grant application and read more about the Goals for the Common Good at the “Your United Way – Community Impact” section of www.UnitedWaySWMN.org  or contact United Way of Southwest Minnesota at 507-929-2273 for more information.

           

United Way of Southwest Minnesota is an autonomous, local organization working to create lasting changes in people’s lives and the communities in Lincoln, Lyon, Murray, Yellow Medicine, and portions of Cottonwood, Lac qui Parle, Nobles, and Redwood Counties of Minnesota.


July 2, 2014
Special Community Project Grant Deadlines Announced by United Way of Southwest Minnesota

United Way of Southwest Minnesota (UWSWMN) announces that $12,000 has been targeted for use by area non-profit organizations to strengthen UWSWMN’s commitment to activities or programs that are aligned with the UWSWMN’s Goals for the Common Good and are directed at development and support for area residents.

 

United Way of Southwest Minnesota (UWSWMN) unites people and resources to improve lives in the area with a focus on education, income (financial stability), health, safety & well-being, and hunger—the building blocks for a good quality of life. United Way achieves these goals by convening the community to address key issues, collaborating to achieve measureable impact, and connecting human and financial resources.

 

All Special Community Project Grant applications will be reviewed by a team of local volunteers who will make recommendations regarding funding to the United Way of Southwest Minnesota board of directors.

 

Application deadlines will be August 29, 2014 and January 30, 2015.  Organizations can download the Special Community Project Grant application and read more about the Goals for the Common Good at the “Your United Way – Community Impact” section of www.UnitedWaySWMN.org  or contact United Way of Southwest Minnesota at 507-929-2273 for more information.

           

United Way of Southwest Minnesota is an autonomous, local organization working to create lasting changes in people’s lives and the communities in Lincoln, Lyon, Murray, Yellow Medicine, and portions of Cottonwood, Lac qui Parle, Nobles, and Redwood Counties of Minnesota.


July 2, 2014
United Way of Southwest Minnesota Executive Committee Announced

United Way of Southwest Minnesota has elected new officers for the 2014-15 fiscal year. 

 

Exec_2014.07.pngFront Row (L to R): Jon Rowe, Community Impact Chair, Lyon County, MN Department of Corrections; Josh Bonnstetter, President, Slayton, Home Federal Bank & Family Farm; and Ben Alcorn, Resource Development Chair, Marshall, U.S. Bank.

 

Back Row (L to R): Lisa Rademacher, Past President, Lynd, SW/WC Service Cooperative; Sue Skramstad, Success By 6 Chair, Marshall, SW/WC Service Cooperative; Michelle Warme, Treasurer, Marshall, Schwan’s Shared Services, LLC; and Theresa Zaske, Vice President, Balaton, Schwan’s Shared Services.

 

United Way of Southwest Minnesota is an autonomous, local organization working to create lasting changes in people’s lives and the communities in Lincoln, Lyon, Murray, Yellow Medicine and portions of Cottonwood, Lac qui Parle, Nobles and Redwood Counties of Minnesota. 


July 1, 2014
United Way of Southwest Minnesota Announces 2014-15 Campaign Chair

United Way of Southwest Minnesota announces that Ben Alcorn will chair this year’s United Way Campaign for the region. Alcorn is the Strategic Development Manager for U.S. Bank Equipment Finance. The United Way campaign officially kicks off on September 9th when a variety of events and information sessions will be held. Pacesetter campaigns at various workplaces will kick off prior to that around the region.

 

Alcorn_2014.07.pngThis crucial position provides leadership for the campaign itself and the resource development committee, a diverse group of volunteer leaders and board directors that shape and implement strategies to meet yearly fundraising goals. "It is an exciting time for the United Way of Southwest Minnesota as we are now able to impact more people, programs and communities. As our service area continues to grow, the campaign becomes an even more critical part of our organization,” shared Alcorn.


Alcorn is the latest in a long line of local leaders who have chaired the position. Matt Weller, Centrol Crop Consulting chaired the campaign in 2013-14 and Marissa Kunde, Title & Abstract Services, LLC, was the 2012-13 campaign chair.

 

United Way is an autonomous, local organization working to create lasting changes in people’s lives and the communities in Lincoln, Lyon, Murray, Yellow Medicine, western Redwood, and portions of Cottonwood, Lac Qui Parle, and Nobles Counties.


June 26, 2014
United Way of Southwest Minnesota to Launch Born Learning Trail in Granite Falls

United Way of Southwest Minnesota, the City of Granite Falls, Granite Falls Kiwanis, Bursch Travel and The Sawmill are excited to bring a Born Learning Trail to Granite Falls to help parents and caregivers support early education for young children. The Born Learning Trail is a fun, easy way for Granite Falls parents, grandparents and caregivers to use our outside environment to help teach children the skills that are necessary for their success in school. The series of 10 signs are designed to help adults interact with children to boost language and literacy development and also support early learning in everyday moments.

 

Installation of the Born Learning Trail is Thursday July 10, 2014 from 12:30 – 4:30 pm. The trail will be installed along the sidewalk that borders Minnesota Avenue near the playground and shelter. Granite Falls Kiwanis members are volunteering to help, but 6 additional volunteers are still needed. Trail installation involves digging holes for the sign posts, pouring concrete to secure the posts and painting letters, shapes and a hopscotch grid on the sidewalk. Whether you are able to help for the whole time or just a portion of the time there is a job for you!

 

If you are interested in helping install the Born Learning Trail in Granite Falls please contact Stephanie at the United Way of Southwest Minnesota office at stephanie.cordes@unitedwayswmn.org or (507) 929-2273.

 

United Way of Southwest Minnesota is an autonomous, local organization working to create lasting changes in people’s lives and the communities in Lincoln, Lyon, Murray, Yellow Medicine, western Redwood and portions of Cottonwood, Laq Qui Parle and Nobles Counties of Minnesota.

 


June 25, 2014
Removable Book Labels Coming Soon for Imagination Library

In 2005, the United Way of Southwest Minnesota (UWSWMN) officially started their sponsorship and financial support of the Dolly Parton Imagination Library Program. Since that time, more than 235,000 books have made their way into the hands of children throughout Southwest Minnesota as part of United Way’s commitment to early literacy and school readiness. The United Way is currently undergoing a three phase evaluation of the program. Current Imagination Library families are encouraged to participate by completing a survey located on the UWSWMN website www.UnitedWaySWMN.org.

 

Dolly Parton’s team of literacy experts select the books and navigate the U.S. Postal System, while local organizations handle the marketing, enrollment, address changes, and financial sponsorship. The program costs approximately $30.00 per child per year. Currently, the local UWSWMN program averages nearly 2,400 children enrolled at any given time.

 

The Dollywood Foundation just announced that removable book labels will be coming soon. They have recently found an affordable option that will stand up to the rigors of processing and mail delivery while still being removable. The Dollywood Foundation is running a final test on some of the books in the July 2014 mailing. If that test mailing goes well the removable labels will be used on all books going forward.

For more information or to register your child log onto www.UnitedWaySWMN.org or call 507-929-2273.

 

United Way is an autonomous, local organization working to create lasting changes in people's lives

and the communities in Lincoln, Lyon, Murray, Yellow Medicine, western Redwood, and portions of Cottonwood, Lac Qui Parle, and Nobles Counties.

 


June 23, 2014
Lisa Rademacher Recognized as Outgoing President

Outgoing_Pres.Rademacher.jpgUnited Way of Southwest Minnesota 2013-14 board president, Lisa Rademacher, was recognized for her service at the June board of directors meeting. In addition to serving as president during 2013-14, Rademacher served on the organization’s executive committee and is an ex officio member of all other committees and task forces. She has served on the United Way board since July 2009. Rademacher will continue to sit on the executive committee for 2014-15 as past president and mentor incoming board president, Josh Bonnstetter, who will begin his role effective July 1, 2014.

Pictured: Lisa Rademacher, board president and incoming board president, Josh Bonnstetter.


June 23, 2014
Community Impact Grant Grants

United Way of Southwest Minnesota (UWSWMN) unites people and resources to improve lives in the area with a focus on education, income (financial stability), health, safety & well-being, and hunger—the building blocks for a good quality of life. United Way achieves these goals by convening the community to address key issues, collaborating to achieve measureable impact, and connecting human and financial resources. Your dollar goes further with UWSWMN because we’re not doing our work alone. In 2014-15, we will partner with more than thirty community partner programs and deliver on more than a dozen UWSWMN programs & initiatives furthering the network of human services and volunteerism in the region. Your donation goes far, but never far away.

 

The United Way is unique in the way it invests in southwest Minnesota. It starts by raising money from businesses, organizations, and local people. Then every year community investment volunteers from across the region look at the collective needs of the whole service area. Volunteers participating in the process this year represented sixteen communities and evaluated the programs’ plans and goals, metrics and results, track record, impact, and financial management.  These reviews resulted in recommendations for funding to the United Way Board of Directors. This work was challenging because total funding requests were 47% greater than funds available for grants.

 

The Board of Directors of United Way of Southwest Minnesota approved the investment of $358,271 in community impact and other grants.  These grants will support programs targeting outcomes in education, income, health, safety & well-being, and hunger across Lincoln, Lyon, Murray, Yellow Medicine, western Redwood, and portions of Cottonwood, Lac Qui Parle, and Nobles counties.

 

Below are highlights by impact area.

 

Education:  Preparing children to succeed in school and youth to succeed in the community is receiving 33.5% of the grant funding ($119,906).  Literacy building programs like the Imagination Library, which has distributed over 230,000 books since its inception in SW MN, seek to improve the proficiency of children entering kindergarten.  This area also includes student emergency fund grants to 21 area schools to help needy students.

 

Safety & Well-being:  This focus area strives to build awareness, education and respect for the consequences of bullying; increase suicide prevention and awareness; and strengthen support and prevention programs  This area will receive 20.8% of the grant funding ($74,500).

 

Hunger:  This focus area will work to increase nutrition awareness and outreach; connect with vulnerable seniors, disadvantaged and/or persons with disabilities; and increase access to food.  This area will receive 19.5% of the grant funding ($70,000).

 

Health:  Increasing the number of youth and adults who are healthy and avoid risky behaviors, including maximizing self-sufficiency for seniors and people with disabilities is receiving 12.6% of the grant funding ($45,105).

 

Income (financial stability):  Promoting financial stability and independence is receiving 10.5% of the grant funding ($37,500).  This is targeted to help individuals and families move toward financial stability and for people in the community to have resources to overcome disasters and emotional or financial crises.

 

Special Community Projects Grants (SCPG): The purpose of these grants is to strengthen our commitment to activities or programs that are aligned with the UWSWMN Goals for the Common Good and are directed at development and support for area residents. 2014-2015 grant deadlines for SCPG’s will be August 29, 2014 and January 30, 2015. There will be $12,000 in grant funding available. In fiscal year 2013-14, $10,585 was awarded.

 

UWSWMN honored .2% in donor designated donations to out of area United Way’s.

 

For a complete list by program, please visit www.UnitedWaySWMN.org.

 

Volunteerism: More than 3,000 hours of time was logged in service hours this year directly benefiting the UWSWMN. In addition, UWSWMN coordinated/matched additional volunteers to projects benefiting community partner programs adding hundreds of hours of additional people power to the region.

 




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