December 10, 2013 Growing Together Student Essay Contest Winners Announced
Students in this area were invited to write about what growing together as a community means to them. This was part of an essay contest that was sponsored by United Way of Southwest Minnesota and the Marshall Independent.
Prizes were awarded to eight winning essayists representing grade levels 3, 4, 5 and 6. The winning essays were published in the Marshall Independent on December 7, 2013. Winners are: (Front Row L to R): Taylor Miller, 3rd grader at Holy Redeemer School in Marshall; Tianna Karsten, 3rd grader at Holy Redeemer School in Marshall; and Katrina Sahlstrom, 4th grader at Arrow Academy in Tracy. (Back Row L to R): Kestlyn Willert, 6th grader at Marshall Middle School; Abby Theisen, 5th grader at St. Peter’s School in Canby; Bailey Kindopp, 5th grader at St. Peter’s School in Canby; Giavanna Christian, 6th grader at Marshall Middle School; and Brianna Gile, 4th grader at RTR Elementary School.
In addition to a United Way t-shirt and recognition certificate, each winner was presented a $25 cash prize sponsored by a local financial institution. These awards were underwritten by Wells Fargo Bank, Bremer Bank, First Independent Bank and Bank of the West. The Marshall Independent published the winning essays and also awarded one month newspaper subscriptions to all of the winners.
Independent judges for the essay contest were Gail & Dallas Dammen, Carolyn Fuller, Penny Wall and Rose Thomasson.
December 9, 2013 Lucan Family Donations
Due to the OVERWHELMING and THOUGHTFUL generosity of the residents of Southwest Minnesota, the ONLY items currently being sought/accepted at the United Way of Southwest Minnesota drop location for the rural Lucan family affected by the fire are the following:
Gift cards (to be used for clothing, household supplies, services, gas, etc.)
A fund to benefit the family has also be established at the First Independent Bank of Lucan. Donations can be made directly to this fund at any of teh First Independent Bank locations in this area. Click here https://www.fibmn.com/#/hours-and-locations to see a list of bank locations.
Again, thank you for your generosity! Southwest Minnesota is full of amazing people.
December 9, 2013 Special Community Project Grant Deadlines Announced by United Way of Southwest Minnesota
United Way of Southwest Minnesota announces deadline for Special Community Project Grant applications will be January 31, 2014. Organizations serving this area of southwest Minnesota are eligible to submit grant requests for activities or programs that are aligned with the United Way of Southwest Minnesota Goals for the Common Good.
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.
Organizations can download the Special Community Project Grant application and read more about the Goals for the Common Good at the “Your United Way – Special Community Project Grant” section of www.UnitedWaySWMN.org or contact United Way of Southwest Minnesota at 507-929-2273. The United Way board of directors announced earlier this year that $15,000 was available for these special grants. In round one, $9,735.00, was awarded to four programs leaving $5,265.00 available for round two.
United Way of Southwest Minnesota is an autonomous, local organization working to create long lasting change in people’s lives and the communities in Lincoln, Lyon, Murray, Yellow Medicine and western Redwood Counties of Minnesota.
December 3, 2013 Thanksgiving Message
On behalf of the United Way team and twenty-four member board of directors, we extend wishes of a warm and happy Thanksgiving. There is much to be thankful for in this area even in the current time of uncertainty and challenge.
My job allows me to see donations of time and resources to the United Way of Southwest Minnesota at work on a routine basis throughout our five-county home. Now more than ever your gift is making a difference in real people’s lives, right here in Southwest Minnesota. Much is possible because people in this area care enough to join together and support our local United Way.
Here are just a few examples of how an investment in the United Way makes an impact right here at home:
There are more than 2,300 children in this area (ages birth – 5 years of age) who gain school readiness skills each time an adult in their life takes 15 – 20 minutes to read them one of the interesting, age appropriate Imagination Library books that they receive in the mail each month. Since the United Way began our sponsorship of the program, more than 218,000 books have made their way into the hearts and homes of local children. In January, we will expand to include the school districts of Dawson-Boyd and Fulda as well.
To further build on our commitment to early literacy and school readiness, we will soon launch 1,000 Books before Kindergarten in partnership with all area libraries. This initiative emphasizes the importance of building a broader vocabulary by having 1,000 books read to a young person prior to their entering Kindergarten. It encourages reading of both Imagination Library books as well as enjoying all that local libraries have to offer. Children enrolled will receive a tote bag to haul their books to and from the library and track the books read to them. Small incentives will be offered along the way. Those completing the 1,000 Books before Kindergarten challenge will celebrate with a graduation party. Look for information to come regarding when, where and how parents can enroll their children to participate.
850 Kindergarten children were able to practice their school readiness skills over the summer with ‘Wild About Kindergarten’ bags that were given to every child who attended Kindergarten Round-ups in 22 schools in this area last spring.
More than 1,000 students throughout SW MN were able to start school with fresh new school supplies this fall because of a great response to the Stuff the Bus school supply drive. The United Way engaged volunteers to sort, pack and distribute supplies/backpacks to elementary, middle and high schools throughout our region.
Student Emergency grant dollars were dispersed to 20 applying area schools. These funds are to assist the districts neediest students with everything from school trip/activity fees, socks/underwear, snow-pants, eyeglasses, school supplies, etc.
Hundreds of volunteers were mobilized for United Way led initiatives or matched by our office to benefit other community partners. Often workplace groups and service organizations seek our help to match a team to an opportunity.
Each year, dozens of non-profit organizations throughout southwest Minnesota apply for and receive grant dollars through the United Way. Last year, those requests were 35% more than dollars available. The need is great. These organizations focus on the building blocks of a healthy community and align to Education, Income (financial stability), Health, United for Safety & Well-Being and United Against Hunger. For a complete listing of those partners, visit our website at www.UnitedWaySWMN.org. Click on the map on our homepage to see how dollars are invested in your home community across Lincoln, Lyon, Murray, Yellow Medicine and western Redwood counties.
When you invest in the United Way of Southwest Minnesota, you invest in your own backyard. We are currently at 41.8% of our campaign goal of $555,555.55. If you haven’t invested with the United Way of SW MN yet this year, we ask you to please consider an investment. Thank you for giving, advocating and volunteering to help our communities grow stronger together.
November 6, 2013 United Way of Southwest Minnesota Announces Imagination Library Program Expansion
The United Way of Southwest Minnesota is pleased to announce their expansion of the beloved Dolly Parton Imagination Library program to the Fulda School District and the Dawson-Boyd School District effective January 5, 2014.
In 1996, the Dolly Parton Imagination Library Program was launched to benefit the children of her home county (Sevier) in East Tennessee. Dolly’s vision was to foster a love of reading among her county’s preschool children and their families by providing them with the gift of a specially selected book each month. By mailing high quality, age-appropriate books directly to their home, she wanted children to be excited about books and to feel the magic that books can create. Moreover, she could insure that every child would have books, regardless of their family’s income.
Dolly’s Imagination Library became so popular that in the year 2000 she announced that she would make the program available for replication to any community that was willing to partner with her to and financially support their own program locally. Since the initial program launch in the United States, Dolly Parton's Imagination Library has gone from just a few dozen books to nearly 40,000,000 books mailed to children in the United States, into Canada and across the proverbial pond into the United Kingdom! Currently over 1600 local communities provide the Imagination Library to almost 700,000 children each and every month. Statistics and independent reports have shown Dolly Parton's Imagination Library drastically improves early childhood literacy for children enrolled in the program. Further studies have shown improved scores during early literacy testing.
United Way of Southwest Minnesota:
In 2005, the United Way of Southwest Minnesota officially started their sponsorship and financial support of the Imagination Library Program. Since that time, more than 215,000 books have made their way into the hands of children throughout Southwest Minnesota as part of that commitment to early literacy and school readiness.
Each month, from the day the child is born until his/her fifth birthday, a carefully selected book arrives at the mailbox. Kids across the country have shared the excitement of running to the mailbox to retrieve their book. More often than not, the child wants the book read to them now—not later, not tonight and not tomorrow. Right now! 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 program averages about 2,300 children enrolled at any given time.
The United Way of Southwest Minnesota serves Lincoln, Lyon, Murray, Yellow Medicine and western Redwood Counties. There are about 1800 United Way’s throughout the globe. Territories are assigned and zip codes need to be ‘claimed’ so to speak when moving into a new territory. Approval to expand the service area to both the Fulda School District and the Dawson-Boyd School District have come through and will now be a part of the United Way of Southwest Minnesota service area.
When the local program was initially launched, boundaries needed to be set up and were defined according to school district. This was done for a variety of reasons, including how county lines are drawn and that school districts and county lines aren’t always in sync. For example, the United Way of Southwest Minnesota wouldn’t have been able to cover all of Redwood County since there is another United Way there and another organization sponsoring the program for parts of the county assigned to them. District’s such as the Fulda School District encompasses parts of Murray, Cottonwood and Nobles County.
How to Enroll:
Registrations will be effective January 5, 2014. Parents can enroll their children by completing a very simple form. Forms are available on our website, www.UnitedWaySWMN.org. In addition, the United Way plans to host kick-off events in Fulda on Saturday, December 7th and in Dawson on Saturday, December 14th. Events will be from 10:30AM-12:30PM and will be held at the local public libraries in both communities. It typically takes about 10 weeks of processing time following enrollment. Children enrolled in January should expect to receive their first book in March. United Way will also have enrollment information at the 15th Annual Family Fair at the Murray County Central gymnasium on Saturday, January 25th from 10AM-1PM. Each child enrolled in the program receives the same classic Welcome Book, “The Little Engine that Could” by Watty Piper and Graduation Book “Look Out Kindergarten, Here I Come!” by Nancy Carlson during the month the child turns five years old.
How You Can Help:
Educators stress that reading with your pre-school child is the single-most important activity to prepare a child for school. Studies show that being prepared for school follows children throughout their lifetime…children who are better prepared for school also do better down the road economically. Dolly Parton created her Imagination Library to guarantee access to books and to inspire parents to read to their children as much as possible. The United Way of Southwest Minnesota and their Success By 6 committee also focuses their community impact work in school readiness and early literacy for those same reasons.
If you would like to support children in the Imagination Library Program in your own community or in the newly served districts of Fulda or Dawson-Boyd; please send donations to: United Way of Southwest Minnesota-Imagination Library Program, PO Box 41, 109 S. 5th Street, Suite 300, Marshall, MN 56258. The cost to sponsor one child is $30.00 per year.
October 25, 2013 Wine Tasting Event to Benefit United Way of Southwest Minnesota
A Wine Tasting Event will be held to benefit the United Way of Southwest Minnesota campaign on Friday, November 15, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. The event will be held at the Ramada Inn, 1500 E. College Drive, Marshall. Tickets of $20 per person can be purchased at the Marshall Municipal Liquor Store, Valley Discount Liquor, HyVee, Shay’s Restaurant, the Ramada Inn and the United Way of Southwest Minnesota office. There will be Hors d’oeuvres and a wine selection. The event is hosted by the Ramada Inn, Phillips Wine and Spirits and Paustis & Sons Wine Company.
There will be a wine & chocolate themed silent auction at the event. Wine tasting ticket holders will receive a complimentary glass of wine when an entrée is ordered at Shay’s Restaurant that evening, also.
United Way of Southwest Minnesota is an autonomous, local organization working to create long lasting community change through the building blocks of education, income (financial stability), health, safety & well-being and united against hunger in the five counties we call home. Funds will be used to support these efforts as well as help underwrite the Imagination Library literacy building program.
October 22, 2013 Two Thumbs Up From This Restaurant Critic
Two thumbs up is the rating this amateur restaurant critic is giving out to a variety of restaurants throughout Lincoln, Lyon, Murray, Yellow Medicine and western Redwood counties. You might be reading this and wondering, what does the lady at the local United Way know about food and what does it possibly have to do with the work of the United Way of Southwest Minnesota?
Various restaurants and organizations throughout our service area are participating in Dine Out for United Way promotions. This is how it works. Restaurants choose to serve as a Dine Out establishment, pick a promotion for their establishment, and then the United Way promotes it for them. This is done in conjunction with our print and radio partners, the United Way website and Facebook page, participating workplace campaign ambassadors and word of mouth.
The restaurant agrees to donate proceeds from their promotion to the United Way of Southwest Minnesota. Those dollars then go to work creating long lasting community change through the building blocks of education, income (financial stability), health, safety & well-being and united against hunger in the five counties we call home. Dine Out funds will be used to support these efforts as well as help underwrite the Imagination Library literacy building program.
Current promotions will continue to run through December 10th. A full menu can be found by visiting our website at www.UnitedWaySWMN.org or by checking the daily schedule on our Facebook page. If your business has not yet signed on to participate, but would still like to, please contact our office.
At the time of this article, I personally had participated in fourteen of the Dine Out events. The rest of my schedule is mapped out for the remainder and I look forward to participating in each and every one of them. Dining Out for United Way not only invests dollars in our local communities, but has encouraged me to try new restaurants and also try menu items from those establishments I was already quite familiar with for the first time.
While all of the Dine Out’s have been amazing and delicious, I wanted to share just a few of the highlights thus far:
· Working in the iconic Granite Falls Kiwanis popcorn stand, waitressing at the Lakeside Hideaway in Currie and bussing tables at the Pizza Ranch in Marshall. All of these establishments donated a percentage of sales one evening/weekend all of the tips United Way staff and board members could earn.
· Witnessing Burger King give-away 374 ice-cream cones in a four hour time span and then donating a $1.00 for each one of those free cones back to the United Way.
· Ordering coffee from the Left Bank Café in Slayton for my coffee-loving husband as a thank you gift.
· Helping a board member finish off an order of Crab Rangoon at the Hunan Lion, dining at Bootlegger’s in Granite Falls with an old friend, trying (and loving) the food at the Hindi Store, watching Toni’s Depot tally up their burger count and appreciating four of the Subway’s in the area picking a date to all contribute 20% of their daily sales.
I encourage all of you to visit our website and try a new restaurant or menu item. It’s good for business, good for the community and tastes delicious. Visit our website www.UnitedWaySWMN.org for remaining details, dates and locations.
October 15, 2013 United Way of Southwest Minnesota Announces Special Community Project Grant Recipients
The United Way of Southwest Minnesota Board of Directors recently approved four Special Community Projects Grants in the first round totaling $9735.00. For 2013-2014, $15,000 was made available to fund these special projects. Round two will have a deadline of January 30 and the remaining $5265.00 will be available. All grant applicants were reviewed and interviewed by community volunteers who then made their recommendations to the Board for final approval similar to the process used in the spring for Community Impact grant applicants; only on a smaller scale. Projects being funded had a clear tie to the United Way’s Goals for the Common Good focusing on either Education, Income (financial stability), Health, United Against Hunger or United for Safety & Well-Being and demonstrated clear impact and potential outcomes in those areas.
Those applications being funded in Round One are as follows: United to Increase Safety & Well-Being: PFLAG-Marshall-Buffalo Ridge plans to build awareness and provide education by creating bullying resource kits that would be available at area schools and/or public libraries for check-out; Income (financial stability): Literacy Volunteers of Southwest Minnesota will support adult literacy outreach to communities that they have yet to serve in Lyon, Lincoln and portions of Murray, Yellow Medicine and western Redwood counties to recruit and train volunteer tutors and literacy advocates; United Against Hunger: Ruby’s Pantry of Western Community Action, hosted by Holy Redeemer Church will use grant dollars to support the start- up of a new program in southwest Minnesota that procures and distributes surplus food and goods to help fight hunger in rural communities; and United Against Hunger: Yellow Medicine-Neighbors United Food Shelf will use funds to continue operation of a well-stocked food shelf to meet the increasing needs of seniors and others experiencing food insecurity in their area. The United Way of Southwest Minnesota will be sponsoring all food costs for the month of November for the YM Neighbors United Food Shelf.
Picture Descriptions Below:
Yellow Medicine Neighbors United Food Shelf Picture. Pictured L to R: Marcy Heemeyer, Executive Director, United Way of Southwest Minnesota; Kristi Flaten, Board Director, United Way of Southwest Minnesota; Barb Gustafson, YM County; Joan Johnson, Food Shelf Coordinator, Yellow Medicine Neighbors United Food Shelf; and Rae Ann Keeler-Aus, YM County Family Services Director.
Ruby’s Pantry: Pictured United Way Staff and Board Members with Ruby’s Pantry volunteers the evening of the kick-off distribution event.
Literacy Volunteers of SW MN: Marcy Heemeyer, Executive Director, United Way of Southwest Minnesota; Angel Bauman, Board Member/Volunteer, Literacy Volunteers of SW MN; Charlotte Harris-Hoffstrom, Community Outreach Coordinator, Literacy Volunteers of SW MN; Candace Thomas, Board Member/Volunteer, Literacy Volunteers of SW MN; David Patterson, Board Member/Volunteer, Literacy Volunteers of SW MN; and Sue Buysse, Board Director, United Way of Southwest Minnesota.
PFLAG-Marshall Buffalo Ridge: Marcy Heemeyer, Executive Director, United Way of Southwest Minnesota; Sue Morton, PFLAG-Marshall-Buffalo Ridge; and Jeff Cordes, Board Director, United Way of Southwest Minnesota.
October 14, 2013 Book Give Away & Bake Sale!
In honor of National Bullying Prevention Month and our focus on Safety & Well-Being and Early Childhood Education/Literacy, we are having a GIVE-AWAY!
You know him, you love him! Our friend the Llama has a new book, "Llama, Llama and the Bully Goat!" One lucky person will win a hard cover copy of this adorable story. The winning name will be drawn on October 31st!
To enter: You need to LIKE (or have already LIKED) the United Way of Southwest Minnesota Facebook page AND also LIKE and/or SHARE this post OR stop by the United Way of Southwest Minnesota office on Wednesday, October 30th during our BAKE SALE and register to win. No purchase necessary.
The United Way of Southwest Minnesota office is located at 109 S. 5th Street, Suite 300, Marshall, MN. All proceeds from the BAKE SALE will benefit the United Way of SW MN. The sale will open on the 30th at 9am. Give. Advocate. Volunteer.
October 7, 2013 United Way of Southwest Minnesota Announces Thomsen as New Board Director
United Way of Southwest Minnesota is proud to announce a new Board Director. United Way Directors serve three year terms with a maximum of two consecutive terms. The United Way of Southwest Minnesota can have up to twenty-four board directors and is made up of recognized leaders from across our service area.
John Thomsen, Regional Sales Manager, U.S. Bank grew up in Ivanhoe and currently resides in Marshall with his family.
September 25, 2013 Three Questions
When people ask how things are going at United Way
of Southwest Minnesota, they are often interested in learning one of three
things: 1.) How my new job is going?
2.) What is happening in terms of impact making strategies or initiatives? 3.)
What is the annual fundraising goal for this campaign? All are very valid
My role as Executive Director is now closing out its
seventh month. It's been a busy and productive tenure thus far and I feel that
I am exactly where I am supposed to be. I love coming to work each day where I
have the opportunity and privilege to work with a variety of local people
united to make community impact right here, right now.
The United Way of Southwest Minnesota Board of
Directors recently approved four Special Community Projects Grants in the first
round totaling $9735.00. For 2013-2014, $15,000 was made available to fund
these special projects. Round two will have a deadline of January 30 and the
remaining $5265.00 will be available. All grant applicants were reviewed and
interviewed by community volunteers who then made their recommendations to the
Board for final approval similar to the process used in the spring for
Community Impact grant applicants; only on a smaller scale. Projects being
funded had a clear tie to the United Way's Goals for the Common Good focusing
on either Education, Income (financial stability), Health, United Against
Hunger or United for Safety & Well-Being and demonstrated clear impact and
potential outcomes in those areas. Those applications being funded in Round One
are as follows: United to
Increase Safety & Well-Being:
PFLAG-Marshall-Buffalo Ridge plans to build awareness and provide
education by creating bullying resource kits that would be available at area
schools and/or public libraries for check-out; Income (financial stability):
Literacy Volunteers of Southwest Minnesota will support adult literacy outreach
to communities that they have yet to serve in Lyon, Lincoln and portions of
Murray, Yellow Medicine and western Redwood counties to recruit and train
volunteer tutors and literacy advocates; United Against Hunger: Ruby's Pantry of Western Community Action,
hosted by Holy Redeemer Church will use grant dollars to support the startup of
a new program in southwest Minnesota that procures and distributes surplus food
and goods to help fight hunger in rural communities; and United Against
Hunger: Yellow Medicine-Neighbors United
Food Shelf will use funds to continue operation of a well-stocked food shelf to
meet the increasing needs of seniors and others experiencing food insecurity in
addition to the recent Special Community Projects grants, we have launched an
art contest in conjunction with MAFAC to support a program that United Way will
be launching in partnership with area libraries in early winter called 1,000
Books Before Kindergarten. Also, our ‘What
Does Growing Together as a Community Mean to Me' essay contest for grades
3-6 co-sponsored by the Marshall Independent launched on September 23rd. More details
about these efforts and other exciting initiatives can be found by visiting our
website at www.UnitedWaySWMN.org, by
giving us a call at 507-929-2273 or by LIKING United Way of Southwest Minnesota
While we do set an ambitious campaign goal each
year, we are more interested in telling the story of the impact we're having in
the communities we call home. While we need to reach a financial goal in order
to have the funds to do the work, it is the work we do with the funds that is
the most important thing. Here are a few additional examples of how your
dollars have been invested locally to make an impact.
In the 2012 calendar year, United Way of Southwest Minnesota:
Distributed over $260,000 to support local human service programs targeted
to improving local people's lives.
Spent over $80,000 on community initiatives directed at making sure that
when students enter kindergarten they are prepared to succeed in school and in
Over $57,000 on Imagination Library books, which included delivering
over 28,000 books in 2012 to the homes of local pre-school aged children; and
Over $10,000 spent on supplies to fill Wild About Kindergarten school
readiness kits that were distributed to over 850 area children who attended
local kindergarten round-ups.
Distributed over $8,700 to 22 local schools to help them meet unmet needs of
their neediest students.
Connected willing volunteers with various local projects that needed their
support, leading to over 2,000 hours of volunteer time going to work throughout
our service area.
Like all investors, our donors want to be sure that
they are getting a good return on their philanthropic investment. We can assure
them they are. Annually local volunteers carefully review agencies' programs
for proposed impact; they review financial and governance information and make
sure the funds will be used wisely. All these measures ensure that the funds invested
on our donors' behalf are making the greatest impact possible - right here in our
The United Way of Southwest Minnesota annual
fund-raising campaign is underway. Our
ambitious goal is $555,555.55. We strive
to meet and hopefully exceed that goal. And, because we know you want to know, we'll
keep you updated on our progress. Funds invested and volunteer time donated
enable us to meet community needs and have an impact on local people. I invite
you to help us Grow Together across
Southwest Minnesota by thinking local and giving local. For more information or
to make a donation: www.UnitedWaySWMN.org.
Way of Southwest Minnesota is an autonomous, local organization working to
create long lasting community change through the building blocks of education,
income (financial stability), health, safety & well-being and united
against hunger in the five counties we call home.
September 23, 2013 United Way of Southwest Minnesota Celebrates Jumpstart's Read for the Record
Campaign Brings Attention to Early Education Crisis
United Way of Southwest Minnesota is participating in Jumpstart's Read for the Record, presented in
partnership with the Pearson Foundation again this year. Eighty volunteers will
read Otis by Loren Long at 16 schools, 8 libraries and 2 daycares in Lyon,
Lincoln, western Redwood and Yellow Medicine counties on Thursday October 3,
2013. Jumpstart's Read for the Record is
an annual reading celebration that highlights the need for quality early
education in America by mobilizing adults and children to set a record for the
largest shared reading experience.
libraries and daycares participating are: Bert Raney Elementary, Canby
Elementary, Hendricks, Holy Redeemer, Lake Benton, Lakeview, Lincoln HI, Lynd,
Marshall Area Christian, Marshall Park Side, RTR, Samuel Lutheran, St. Edwards
- Minneota, St. Mary's - Tracy, St.
Peter's - Canby, Westbrook Walnut Grove, Clarkfield Public Library, Granite
Falls Public Library, Ivanhoe Public Library, Marshall Lyon County Public
Library, Minneota Public Library, Tracy Public Library, Tyler Public Library,
Westbrook Public Library, Marshall East Child Care and SMSU Child Care.
Read for the Record is a call to
action to Americans to recognize the importance of quality early education,
especially for our most vulnerable children," said Stephanie Cordes, Education
Coordinator. "When children start behind, they tend to stay behind. United Way
of Southwest Minnesota is proud to support this campaign."
the campaign's inception in 2006, more than nine million people have joined
local Jumpstart's Read for the Record
reading celebrations; Jumpstart has raised more than $8 million to support its year-round
work in preschools in low-income neighborhoods. Learn more about Jumpstart's Read for the Record at www.jstart.org/readfortherecord.
United Way of Southwest Minnesota is an autonomous,
local organization working to create long lasting community change through the
building blocks of education, income (financial stability), health, safety
& well-being and united against hunger in the five counties we call home.
September 23, 2013 Essay Contest Invites Students to Share What Growing Together Means to Them
Way of Southwest Minnesota and The Marshall Independent have teamed up to
sponsor an essay contest to give children a chance to write about what ‘Growing
Together' as a community means to them.
parents and community leaders are encouraged to invite children in grades three
to six to participate. Essays for the "Growing Together" contest
should be original, be inspirational and have good grammar. One entry allowed
will be awarded to the top two winning essayists in each grade level and their
stories will be published in The Marshall Independent.
An essay contest for children in grades three through six. Submissions
are welcome from throughout Lincoln, Lyon, Murray, Yellow Medicine and western
Redwood counties. Schools have been invited to participate, but you may enter
on your own if your class is not participating or if you are home schooled.
The essays should be no more than 150 words long and focus on what Growing
Together as a community means to you. Essays should be original with
good grammar and should be inspirational.
Essays must be received at the United Way of Southwest Minnesota office by Monday,
November 4, 2013.
Essays should include the student's name, family contact information, grade
level, teacher's name, school or organization (this information doesn't count
in the 150 word limit and the family contact information will not be shared
with the public). Essays can be mailed to United Way of Southwest
Minnesota, Growing Together Contest, P.O. Box 41, Marshall, MN 56258 or
emailed to email@example.com.
Contact information should be written on the back of the submission. Late
entries will not be accepted.
Winners: Two winners will be selected
for each grade level (grades three through six) and each will receive a $25.00
cash prize, LIVE UNITED t-shirt, recognition certificate, newspaper
certificate, and be invited to read their winning essay at an Awards Ceremony
on November 25th. All eight winners will be announced and have their
essays published in the Saturday, December 7th edition of The Marshall
Way of Southwest Minnesota is an autonomous, local organization working to
create long lasting community change through the building blocks of education,
income (financial stability), health, safety & well-being and united
against hunger in the five counties we call home.
September 18, 2013 1000 Books Before Kindergarten ART CONTEST
Way of Southwest Minnesota is excited to sponsor an art contest in partnership
with Marshall Area Fine Arts Council (MAFAC) in which a design will be selected
to represent a new early learning initiative called 1000 Books Before
Kindergarten. The chosen design will be printed on a canvas library bag that
all registered participants will receive, program materials and marketing
materials. CLICK HERE for contest rules and HERE for registration form or call (507) 929-2273.
Contest is open to ALL residents (no age restrictions) in Lincoln, Lyon,
Murray, Redwood and Yellow Medicine Counties. Artwork submissions are due
Monday October 21, 2013 by 5:00 pm at the United Way of Southwest Minnesota's
Way of Southwest Minnesota in partnership with area libraries in Lincoln, Lyon,
western Redwood and Yellow Medicine Counties is nearly finished planning a new
early literacy initiative called 1000 Books Before Kindergarten. The program is
anticipated to begin in December 2013. (No registrations are being taken at
this time. Please do not contact
your library about registering at this time.)
encourages parents to read aloud at least 1000 books with their children before
they enter Kindergarten. The program, open to children in Lyon, Lincoln, Murray, Yellow Medicine and western
Redwood Counties (visiting any of the participating libraries) has an initial
goal of reaching 2000 children
Program Goals include:
Introduce a fun method to encourage families to
read aloud to preschoolers
Introduce children to a wide range of excellent
books to promote pre-literacy so children enter school ready to learn
Encourage regular library use by families and
enhance our already existing outreach to daycares and preschools
Children, when registered at a participating library, will
receive a canvas library bag with artwork on one side and a list of
participating libraries on the other side, a reading folder with a reading log
and program information. Children will also receive incentive prizes throughout
the 1000 book journey and upon completion of the program a graduation party,
held twice a year.
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 western Redwood Counties of Minnesota.
September 3, 2013 United Way of Southwest Minnesota to Host Ambassador Training
United Way of Southwest Minnesota will host Ambassador Training on Tuesday,
September 10, 2013, from 3:00pm-4:30pm at the Marshall Area YMCA Meeting Room.
This training is open to anyone currently conducting a workplace campaign, as
well as businesses/organizations wishing to learn more about how to start a
United Way workplace campaign for the first time.
year's theme is Growing Together in Southwest Minnesota. Together WE can
do more! The United Way invites you to invest in your community to make long
lasting community change through the building blocks of education, income
(financial stability), health, safety & well-being and united against
hunger. Our 2013-2014 campaign goal is $555,555.55 to impact the five counties
we call home. Let's Grow Together across Lincoln, Lyon, Murray, western
Redwood and Yellow Medicine counties.
first portion of the training will feature a panel of experts from some of our
most successful and creative campaigns, including Bremer Bank; U.S. Bank;
Schwan's Shared Services; and North Star Mutual Insurance Company. Come learn
best practices and new ideas to start your first campaign or freshen up an
existing one. The second half of the training will focus on the introduction of
new tools/resources/reports and clarify questions. You can expect a fun,