A community of thanks for helping the Salvation Army

Published 5:46 pm Friday, February 2, 2024

Dear Editor,

We would like to thank the Austin Daily Herald for your help promoting our Holiday Season work and fundraising for our seasonal and year-round programs to serve our community. You were a huge help!

We also want to thank the residents of Mower County for their generous support throughout the Holiday Season.  We thank Hormel Foods for donating turkeys for our Thanksgiving baskets this year that were shared with 287 households (and Jeff Baker’s last-minute delivery of an additional 37 turkeys to help out).  We also thank KAUS Radio, Hy-Vee, Hormel Foods and all the other contributing businesses, Austin Area Foundation, groups, and individual donors that enabled us to provide Christmas meals for 374 households.

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We also are thankful to all the businesses and churches who hosted Angel Tree’s this season and to all who contributed gifts to our local Angel Tree program.  Due to your help 640 children received Christmas gifts.  This was a huge increase over the 414 children who received Christmas gifts last year through this program. This program looked bleak due to the increased need, but with the help of the following volunteers:  Diane Baker, Noel Day, Chris Grev, Tammy Coffee, Madonna Rosel, and Theresa Miller for processing countless gifts — they made it happen.  A special thank you to Toys for Tots for coming to our rescue with many last-minute gifts!

We also thank the army of volunteers and who rang bells this season to help us reach our goal of $70,000 (even though we fell short) and our Salvation Army staff who worked tirelessly to help many households in our community have a brighter holiday season.  We also thank our Advisory Board members who recently finished their terms, Adam Houck, Danielle Borgerson-Nesvold, and Andrea Malo for their dedication and support.

We look forward to 2024. We look forward our incoming Advisory Board members, Jeff Baker, Mary Weikum, and Jennifer Lawhead joining us as we continue working together to address food insecurity in our community which has increased in the past year.  We are excited by the Feeding America/Second Harvest new initiative in MN to cut food insecurity in half by 2030.  In collaboration with the Hometown Food Security team, we will collaborate in the cross-sector partnerships we’ve already developed to work on a data-driven approach to do the work for Mower County.

We appreciate the great people of Mower County and their great care for one another.  God bless you all in 2024!

Major Jeff Strickler

The Salvation Army of Mower County