Employees donate $3,507 to holiday causes

A local food pantry and children’s gift program were the recipients of employees' extra December support.


Kaylee Cusack


December 6, 2021

Minnkota’s Grand Forks employees continue to open their hearts and wallets this season to ensure our community’s families have a wonderful Christmas.

Each year, the employee Jeans Day charity committee leads a special holiday fundraiser asking employees to pay $10 or more for the privilege of wearing jeans for extra days surrounding Thanksgiving and Christmas. This season, employees gave an incredible $650 to the effort, which the Jeans Day committee helped bring to a solid $1,000 to donate to St. Joseph’s Food Pantry. The donation will be enough to provide 3,000 meals for local families.

“This time of the year, the cost of groceries could be the difference between a Christmas gift under the tree and providing food for the family,” said Mickey Munson, St. Joseph’s executive director. “We’re hoping to supplement a fair amount of people who need these services, to hopefully free up some dollars for utilities, transportation or Christmas gifts.”

Minnkota Jeans Day committee member Jill Michalski (right) presents a $1,000 donation to St. Joseph's case manager Deidra Rodriguez (left) and executive director Mickey Munson.

On Dec. 6, the Minnkota employee team responsible for a successful fundraiser for the Santa Claus Girls had the opportunity to present their gift to the nonprofit organization’s volunteers. The power delivery crew hosted a breakfast fundraiser in November that raised $2,007, which the Jeans Day committee boosted with $500 more. The $2,507 donation will help the Santa Claus Girls with their mission of providing Christmas gifts for less fortunate children in the area.

The need for gifts was especially high this year – the group plans to deliver goodies to 1,360 children in Grand Forks and East Grand Forks the week before Christmas.

“Minnkota’s donation will serve almost 100 children. That really makes a difference for us,” said Carol Schneweis, Santa Claus Girls board member. “We can only function because of the community, whether it’s with volunteers or money. The six of us can’t do this alone. The Santa Claus Girls name is on the package, but it’s really a community effort.”

With this gift, combined with the November free-will offering breakfast, Minnkota’s employees have given more than $3,500 to support local families in need during the holidays. Thank you to everyone who participated in these special fundraisers.

MAIN PHOTO: Minnkota employees present Santa Claus Girls board members with a donation of $2,507. Left to right: Karen Bjornseth, Allison Peterson and Carol Schneweis of the Santa Claus Girls board, and Kathy Dietz, Nate Benke and Rory Grenier of Minnkota.


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