There are well over 100 non-profits registered in Redwood Falls according to the National Center for Charitable Statistics.
While many of the local non-profits include activities organizations such as the Minnesota Valley Snow Riders or groups designed to help meet specific needs such as Share the Spirit, there are a number of others that meet in the middle.
Service clubs have a long history in the Redwood Falls community.
The Redwood Falls Rotary is part of a foundation with more than 100 years’ worth of history helping local and worldwide communities. In addition to fund raising for global programs, such as health, clean water and sustainability programs, it does many local projects as well including recent ditch clean-ups and tree planting at Gilfillan.
In November, local member Jan Craig Nelson received the Paul Harris Fellowship award which is given to recognize a person whose life demonstrates a shared purpose with the Rotary objectives and mission of the Foundation to build world understanding and peace.
It also signifies significant donations to international efforts. The local Rotary has more than 50 members; 19 members are a part of the prestigious fellowship. Redwood Falls Lions Club celebrated a milestone this year.
Lions International is 100 years old; the local club formed just 12 years after the national club formed giving it 88 years of local experience. In addition to national and worldwide projects, members also participate in a number of local projects – providing staff to assist at the Ramsey Park Jamboree, the River Riot wrestling tournament and Farmfest.
They are also known for partnering with SMSU for their wheelchair basketball event and partnering with many other organizations to help other groups bolster their fundraising efforts.
United Way and Salvation Army might also be called service clubs.The Salvation Army does more than just ring bells next to a giving kettle.
“We provide vouchers and local financial assistance for people at the end of their rope,” said local president Charlene Graff. “We also have a winter coat program, a free camp for teens, kids, and families. Because of finances, this was the first year we were unable to do our backpack program for students.”
United Way takes a slightly different track and requires its board members to be a part of other, local service clubs as criteria for their position. Nearly one-third of charitable giving to organizations happens in December, and 12 percent of all giving occurs in the last three days of the year according to The Network for Good Digital Giving Index.
One thing for certain this holiday season is there are many ways to get involved and help make your community a better place—not just with a one time (and much appreciated) gift, but with your commitment to coming alongside fellow community members and make a sustained impact through involvement at the local level.