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Redwood area Share the Spirit gearing up for another year, with changes

Troy Krause
Share the Spirit is taking place in the Redwood area in 2020.

Share the Spirit has been a holiday tradition in the Redwood area for more than four decades.

In fact, according to event coordinators, 2020 will be the 43rd year of giving.

Yes, the plan is to hold Share the Spirit this year, with local distribution taking place Dec. 8-10.

In a letter announcing this year’s event, the realities of this year were addressed.

“The COVID-19 pandemic presents special challenges for Share the Spirit in 2020, but the need for this program is greater than ever and we are looking forward to serving these communities in a way that keeps volunteers and recipients safe and healthy,” wrote event coordinators Andrea Wieneke and Sara Madsen.

However, there have been some changes that will take place this year, including the fruit basket gift program. 

According to Barb Darr and Margie Buckley of Redwood Falls, who serve as co-chairs of the fruit basket program, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to the decision to not offer it this year.

Instead, those who are added to the list of recipients will receive a greeting card as a way to let them know people are thinking about them.

Buckley and Darr agreed these are difficult times, adding they really felt it was important to do something but, at the same time, to ensure the health and safety of everyone who is involved with the program.

“We want to let them know the community supports them,” said Darr.

Buckley added the intent is also to let those people know that they are not alone.

The names for the program come from the community, Darr added, and, with that in mind, they are looking for suggestions of people to serve.

Darr and Buckley would appreciate help in identifying those people in the Redwood area, including their name and address, by Nov. 20.

Information may be sent to the Share the Spirit e-mail address at Redwoodsharethespirit@gmail.com, or by calling Darr at (507) 627-2146 or Buckley at (507) 627-5144.

In the Wabasso area, calls can be made to Renee Zwach at (507) 336-2777.

People who are alone, who have lost a loved one or who are facing a health or economic issue are potential candidates. Nursing home residents need not be included, as another program handles that population.

More than 300 people were served last year through the fruit basket program, with another 300 in the Wabasso area.

More about Share the Spirit in 2020 will follow in an upcoming edition of the Redwood Gazette.