WILLMAR -- "Let's do Warm the Children, because we're helping children and we are children."
That is the statement made by a member of Scooter's Dozen 11th-grade confirmation class at the Church of St. Mary in Willmar.
Last week, Scooter Lippert and two of her students -- Sarah Roehl and Katie Lippert -- brought in a wad of cash, a bag heavy with coins and an envelope of money the students raised through a $10 challenge at the church.
Students in the confirmation class are each given $10 and are challenged to see how they can "grow it," the students explained.
One of their classmates took his $10 and bought tomato and plant seeds, sold the plants and raised $100.
And, the class as a whole pooled their money and joined hands to make homemade caramel apples which they sold after church services at St. Mary's on Halloween Sunday. They also put out a fish bowl for donations.
"We had a huge rush on the caramel apples," the two girls stated. "And some just gave donations."
The project helped the students "grow" their $80 (there really aren't a dozen students in the class) to $349.
All total, the class raised about $449. The monies are then donated to a charity of their choice -- in this case Warm the Children.
The Warm the Children program is administered through the West Central Tribune, in partnership with Main Street Willmar, with assistance from area social service agencies and schools making referrals. Selected families are taken shopping in order to purchase warm winter clothing for the children. Each child is allowed up to $80 in purchases.
Warm winter coats, hats, gloves, boots and snowpants are priority, but the program also allows for the purchase of any sort of clothing item -- anything from socks and underwear to shoes, warm pajamas and school clothes.
Goal of the 2010 Warm the Children campaign is $39,000. Last year, the Warm the Children campaign took in $40,004, exceeding a goal of $38,000. The donations received helped to clothe 550 children throughout the area. Now in its 17th year, the Warm the Children campaign has helped some 5,948 children from an estimated 2,195 families over the past 16 years.
All donations, 100 percent, go to help the children; all administrative fees are covered by the West Central Tribune.
A total of 314 donations have been received during the 2010 campaign. To date, donations total $22,357.84 putting the campaign at 57 percent of its goal.
In addition to the anonymous donations, recent contributions have been received from:
Appleton: Roger & Judy Hursch
Atwater: Phyllis Anderson, Ron & Kathy Garner, Gladys Carlson, Deb & Joe Kloss, Darlene Gustafson, Glenn Nelsen; Women of Bethlehem Uffda Day Bazaar
Belgrade: Marvin & Doris Grothem, Don & Sandra Westaby, Ruby Thorson, Wayne & Doris Schoeppach; Grace Lutheran Church
Benson: Bernice Wayne, Toni Lindstrom, Mick & Patti Madden
Bird Island: George & Kathleen Rust, Gordon & Judy Huffman
Clara City: James Ammermann; in memory of Lee Essendrup by Mark & Cindy Plowman
Granite Falls: Virginia Homme, Mavis Lewis
Hector: Jeff & Anne Heerdt; Rebecca Circle Love Box of St. Paul's Lutheran Church
Kandiyohi: Wayne & Marilyn Zarnott, Helen Hawkinson, Diann & Robert Anderson, LaVern & Mona Latterell
Lake Lillian: Gene & Betty Larson, Delmar & Ruby Douma, Steve & Judy Marquardt, Helen & Orlo Almlie, Donna Mae & Billie Scott
Maynard: Roger & Sue Tischer
New London: Marvin Imsdahl, Rick & Tami Seipel, Harold & Gayle Johnson, Jerry & Gwendolyn Roeder, David & Judy Peterman, Dale & Joann Wright; Jake, Noah & Katie Schmidt; Friends in Fortune
Olivia: John Kraft, Jon & Jan Wogen, Tom & Laverne Gleason
Paynesville: Dick & Bernice Haines
Pennock: Bruce & Diane Heymer, Dick & Lynn Guse, Mike & Connie McCain, Bob & Dee Rosenbrook
Prinsburg: Dennis & Joann Swart
Raymond: Margaret Blokzyl, Lorraine Wegner
Sacred Heart: Rosemary Hoberg
Spicer: Smiley & Kay Bomstad, Ray & Genevieve Brace, C. Suzanne Torgerson, Randy & Mary Jo Patton, Rich & Mary Allen, Bea Ourada, Vickie Gunter, Carrie & Darrin Ogdahl, Jinny Jorgensen, Tina & David Erpenbach, Linda Hedlund, Mary C. Hodapp, Gwen Fredeen, Vern & Carol Thorstad; Minne Sunbonnet Dollars of West Central Minnesota, American Legion Auxiliary Unit 545, Senior Citizens Whistle Stop Club, Athenian Study Club.
Sunburg: Marilyn Young
Willmar: Allan & Jeanette Buchanan, Lowell & Barb Torkelson, Al & Dorothy Dikken, Bria Aamot in honor of Brett Aamot, Jake & Ruth Polta, Lester & Jo Ann Halverson, Ron & Loretta Holmgren, Valerie Bennett, Audrey & Jim Loehr, Harold & Mary Larson, Merle & Patti Post, Scott & Kristi Glup, Tom Venaas, Ron & Ione Andreen, Gayle & Linda Larson, David Moody & Mary Catherwood, Bob & Patti Dols, H. Robert & Elaine Engle, Mae Forstrom, Chet & Mona Flack, Olive Geske, Esther Floren, Terry & Sherrie Heying, Rhoda Lang, George & Peggy Johnson, Lorriane Thompson, Eleanor Toutges, Dick & Mary Lou Arne, Bonnie Kraemer, Penny Johnson, John & Janet Helin, Shirley Flaten, Jeanette Kruger, Lois Propp, Sally Demgen, Susan Mattson, Dick & Delores Hoglund, Wayne & Delores Hebrink, Merlin & Janice Kleinhuizen, Jake & Mary Lou Schorn, Lois Hurley, Daniel Lister, Ted & Mary Olson, Dorothy Timm Meili, Barb Piasecki, Eilene Magnuson, Gene & Shirley Bertram, Clifford Norskogs, Leona Whitmer, Bruce & Janet Jaeger, Ione Nichols, Inez Eddy, Elaine Henry, Marian Bengtson, Dan Johnson, Gordon & Wendy Keller, Florence Dufty, Jon & Linda Saunders, Joe & Dorothy Freese, Marvin & Sharon Erdelt, De Alton & Donna Rime, Dan Hurley, Wayne & Linda Fostervold, Floyd Minnick, Gene & Jill Schlueter, Stuart Ness, Jill Kack, Swede & Marilyn Johnson, Frank & Shirley Chapin, Mervin & Fanchon Ellwood, Rod & Bev Engleson, Marcella Barber, Randy Arndt, Patricia Harding, Lorraine Himango, Shirley Sundlee, Doris & Fred Cogelow, Carolyn Davis, Ann & Duaine Amundson, Peggy Ruch, Jack & Teresa Dahl, Lu Burgmeier & Jeff Fransen, Tom & Kaye Molin; Bennett Office Technologies, Fancy Coats Pet Grooming, NTY Club of Calvary Lutheran Church, Willmar Optimist Club, Church of St. Mary, Past Presidents Willmar Does #124, Scooter's Dozen confirmation class at St. Mary's Church, Daughters of Isabella at St. Mary's Church, Vinje Lutheran Church Sunday School donations.
Thank you to all who have contributed in any way and been a part of making the Warm the Children program a huge success.
Donations may be mailed to: Warm the Children, PO Box 839, Willmar MN 56201; or dropped at the Tribune offices at 2208 Trott Avenue S.W. in Willmar, or any one of eight downtown locations including Corneil-Elkjer Agency, Elmquist Jewelers, Hardware Hank Express, Heritage Bank, Insurance by Strehlow, Jake's Pizza, Ken's Casuals and Rick's Cycling & Sports.
Anyone interested in being a volunteer shopper with the Warm the Children program is encouraged to contact the Tribune at 320-235-1150.