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Local kids could benefit from week-long Internet fundraiser

WILLMAR -- Local children will benefit from a dollar-for-dollar fundraising challenge that begins Tuesday.

For seven days, donations made through the Internet site "" will be matched by the Otto Bremer Foundation through the Give-to-the-Kids Challenge.

There are six local nonprofit organizations that work with children that are eligible for the program.

They include the Kandiyohi County Area Family YMCA, United Way of West Central Minnesota, West Central Industries, West Central Minnesota Youth for Christ and the Harmony Visitation Center.

If enough local donations are made, each organization could receive a match of up to $6,000.

The one-time match from Bremer will go to the first $6,000 each organization generates through the online donations made from Sept. 28 through Oct. 5 at

If each local organization raises $6,000 that's matched with Bremer's $6,000, a total of $72,000 could be raised to support programs that directly impact children in the community.

Because the economy has hurt private donations and grants, this week-long fundraiser could help maintain programs and bring programs back that had to be cut because of the lack of funds, said Elaine Bolland, director of the Harmony Visitation Center. The center provides supervised visitation for non-custodial parents and safe transfer of children between parents.

Additional funds, she said, could help revive the Christmas toys-for-tots program that was cut last year because of a lack of funds.

Without adequate donations and grants, Bolland said Harmony's operating budget could be "really hurting" by next summer.

"Each agency is really working hard to positively impact kids' lives," said Jamin Johnson, manager of West Central Industries' resource center program, in a news release.

She said each agency feels "very honored" to have been selected for the Bremer challenge and that a dollar-for-dollar match is a "real blessing."

The goal of Bremer's community challenge is to "encourage people across Minnesota to support youth" by donating through the online site, according to the news release.

"We have a long history of supporting youth programs," said Charlotte Johnson, a trustee with the Otto Bremer Foundation. "Our youth are the future of our communities, and the Bremer Give-to-the-Kids Challenge is a great opportunity for all the people of Minnesota to join in shaping those futures."

To donate to the local organizations, log onto during the specified challenge days and search for the agency by name.


Carolyn Lange

A reporter for 35 years, Carolyn Lange covers regional news with the West Central Tribune.

(320) 894-9750