UWNEMN President's Corner


Bruce Kingsley from Essar Steel
2015-16 United Way of Northeastern Minnesota Board President

Give the Greatest Gift

I love the holidays in northern Minnesota. Family and friends gather together enjoying great food and great company. I know for many, the holidays won’t be the same as they usually are. Our bread and butter, the mining industry, has been hit hard. Our region is in a state of uncertainty – which is a scary place to be. As resources and jobs have decreased, the need has increased. I feel fortunate to have found a job after my former employer idled indefinitely. Many have not been as fortunate and United Way of Northeastern Minnesota (UWNEMN) is there to help. This year, we need your help more than ever. With the layoffs and shutdowns, UWNEMN will experience great pledge loss for last year, tap out reserve funding and move forward into a year of drastic cuts. Think about it, if these funds are not recouped, less will be served while the need will go up.

This year, I know that it may be tough to stuff the stockings as full as you’d like. But, as you are planning for the holidays and the end of the year, I ask you to consider giving a different kind of gift this year: A full tummy to a hungry child, a brand new book to a child who can’t afford reading materials, a therapy session for a local veteran suffering from PTSD. If you are able to donate to support our community through UWNEMN – this year is the best time to have the biggest impact. Your gift and support are needed now more than ever to help your friends and neighbors.

Many of you have seen the Facebook posts and emails that circulate especially during this time of the year that claim to educate donors on charities. Please, please don’t believe everything you read. UWNEMN is an independent, local nonprofit organization – separate from any other charity and from United Way Worldwide. All donations to UWNEMN stay in Northeastern Minnesota and benefit those RIGHT HERE. When it comes to overhead and administration costs, UWNEMN has one of the lowest at 7%. This is a transparent, accountable, trustworthy, LOCAL organization. I am proud to be a part of this local organization, working on local issues, helping local people. I TRUST UWNEMN with my donated dollars, knowing that they will benefit those in need in the community I love, making it a better place for me, my family and my neighbors. If you have any doubt as to whether your donations are well-spent, I urge you to contact the UWNEMN directly.

On behalf of UWNEMN, I wish you and yours a happy, healthy holiday season. Together, we can take care of our own and stand strong again. To donate, please send donations to UWNEMN at 229 West Lake Street, Chisholm MN 55719 or visit www.unitedwaynemn.org.