UWNEMN campaign raises more than $2 million

United Way of Northeastern Minnesota (UWNEMN) is proud to announce its 2020 campaign raised $2,138,969 with support from businesses, individuals, and organizations across the Iron Range.

UWNEMN Executive Director Erin Shay said the results are inspiring.

“2020 was a difficult year in many ways, but these results are a testament to what our communities can do when we pull together to face a crisis,” she said. “It just goes to show you that on the Iron Range, people take care of each other.”

Funds were raised through local workplace campaigns, online donations, mail donations, fundraisers, and grant writing. They will be used in the coming year to support UWNEMN partner agencies: Advocates for Family Peace, Angel Fund, Arrowhead Center Adolescent Treatment, Camp Chicagami, Care Partners, Ely Community Health Center, Ely Community Resource, food shelves area-wide, Girl Scouts of MN and WI Lakes and Pines, Northern St. Louis County Habitat for Humanity, Northwoods Partners, Project Care, Range Transitional Housing, Salvation Army Hibbing, Salvation Army Virginia, Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank, ServeMinnesota Reading Corps, Sexual Assault Program of Northern St. Louis County, Summer Work Outreach Project (SWOP), Support Within Reach, Volunteers in Education (VinE), and Voyageurs Area Council Boy Scouts.

Campaign funds will also be used to sustain UWNEMN’s own community impact programs across the region: Buddy Backpacks, Comforts of Home, Imagination Library, Lunch Buddies, Meet Up and Chow Down, Smiles United, and United for Veterans.

$385,450 of the funds raised were specific to the COVID-19 pandemic. Of that, $48,765 remains to be distributed to local individuals and agencies.

In addition to naming partner agencies, this month UWNEMN also named recipients of its 2020 campaign awards:

  • Ellefson Off Highway (Campaign Award)
  • First National Bank of Gilbert (Campaign Award)
  • PolyMet Mining (Campaign Award)
  • TUFCO (Campaign Award)
  • Delta Air Lines (Spirit Award)
  • Minnesota Power (Spirit Award)
  • Cleveland Cliffs (Leadership Award)
  • Twin Metals Minnesota (Leadership Award)
  • Second Harvest Northern Food Bank (Agency Achievement Award)
  • Anne and Steve Badanjak (Life Saver Award)
  • Ray and Deb Erspamer (Life Saver Award)
  • T.J. Ruper (Life Saver Award)
  • Eric Clement (Outgoing Board President)

“These award winners went above and beyond in a year that presented multiple hurdles,” Shay said. “We are grateful to them and to every person who supported our campaign. Every single dollar raised, every single minute volunteered is a game changer for our organization and our communities.”