The 12th annual Power of the Purse fundraiser was held on Tuesday, April 30th at the Mercantile by Bello’s in Marshall. This exciting event brought together nearly 180 women from throughout southwest Minnesota with a commitment to our youngest learners. All money raised will be used for United Way of Southwest Minnesota (UWSWMN) initiatives that help prepare young children in our area for school. Featured programs during the event program included Stuff the Bus and Imagination Library.
Stuff the Bus:
During the 2018 Stuff the Bus school supply drive, more than 67,000 school supplies were collected and distributed to participating schools in our service area. These supplies assisted nearly 4,000 local K-12 students in the 2018-19 school year. Stuff the Bus would not be possible without generous support from throughout our service area. Many organizations, churches, businesses, and employee groups collect financial donations and supplies and volunteers help count, sort, and distribute supplies. Collection for this year will begin on July 1st and will run through August 2nd. Volunteer opportunities, along with supplies and hygiene items needed, will be posted on Get Connected and on our social media. Watch for more details and help us STUFF THE BUS!
Children ages birth-5 receive an age and developmentally appropriate book in the mail each month through this program. In April, 2,588 local children received an Imagination Library book in the mail. To date, 387,360 books have been mailed to local children through the United Way of Southwest Minnesota. A $30 donation will sponsor one child for a full year.
The evening was filled with food, fun and philanthropy and included stylish purses, a diverse silent auction, deluxe packages, interactive activities, and the grand finale prize vault. Guests were also invited to bring gently used purses to the event to donate to the local WoMen’s Rural Advocacy Program (WRAP) to assist victims of domestic assault.
On behalf of United Way of Southwest Minnesota, thank you to all of our lovely guests, generous businesses and individuals who made donations for the auction, deluxe packages, plinko prizes and the prize vault, the staff at Bello Cucina, our wonderful event committee, CL Photography by Chelbi Lyn for photographing the event and Just Beautiful Creations for sponsoring the lovely centerpieces.