“Give Back” drive raises $5,496

An employee-led giving program has brought in big dollars for local coronavirus response efforts.


Kaylee Cusack


June 1, 2020

Minnkota employees have opened their hearts and wallets to support those struggling from the effects of the pandemic, donating nearly $5,500 in a first-of-its-kind fundraising effort.

Early in May, Minnkota CEO Mac McLennan proposed a special monthlong “Give Back” drive to bolster the Grand Forks employee Jeans Day Fund amidst the region’s COVID-19 crisis. He announced he would personally match a substantial amount of the donations submitted before the start of the next Jeans Day cycle on June 1.

“As I look at today’s circumstances, there has never been a greater need to help people in our community,” McLennan told employees. “If we all give a little, we can help others who are less fortunate.”

Jeans Day committee member Kathy Dietz (left) accepts a donation match from CEO Mac McLennan.

The $5,496 raised in the “Give Back” drive will be distributed to the following organizations supporting coronavirus-related needs:

• United Way of Grand Forks, East Grand Forks & Area (One Fund)

• United Way of Cass-Clay (Coronavirus Response Fund)

• United Way of Bemidji Area (Emergency Response Fund)

• Larimore Food Pantry

• Rural Enrichment and Counseling Headquarters (Hawley, Minn.)

• Initiative Foundation, Emergency Relief and Recovery Fund (Little Falls, Minn.)

• Bemidji Community Food Shelf

• Fargo Emergency Food Pantry

• Great Plains Food Bank (Fargo, N.D.)

• St. Joseph’s Food Pantry (Grand Forks, N.D.)

The Jeans Day program provides an opportunity for employees to pay $45 a year (or $1 a week) for the ability to wear jeans on Fridays. The funds raised through Jeans Day are dispersed to area nonprofit and charity organizations suggested by Minnkota employees. Since 2011, more than $55,000 has been provided to worthy causes.


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