2013 Thanksgiving Donation Vote!

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We’re making a donation to 3 local non-profits on behalf of our members, as a gesture of holiday gratitude and generosity. Below are the organizations, chosen by TCOMM-Colonnade staff, and a brief description from them of the good these organizations do.

Visit our Facebook page, or complete a survey via SurveyMonkey to cast your vote!

Bruce Ensrud | Greater Minneapolis Council of Churches

Through their family of programs, Greater Minneapolis Council of Churches (GMCC) focuses on fighting hunger, helping seniors, empowering urban Native Americans, nurturing families and mentoring youth. GMCC is a nonprofit where compassion has inspired action since 1905

Ted Contag | Urban Homeworks

The mission of Urban Homeworks is to perpetuate the hope of Jesus Christ through innovative community development that produces dignified housing for families, a strategic network of good neighbors and the redemptive development of real estate.  My wife and I love everything about this charity.  They are putting our money to good work.  They walk their talk.  They are changing lives one relationship and one home at a time.  Check them out at www.urbanhomeworks.org.

Chris Mongeon | Way to Grow

For over 20 years, Way to Grow has been one of the preeminent early learning programs in the Twin Cities. They focus on the most important stages of life — from prenatal to kindergarten — and parenting. In October 2010, they launched the Great by Eight Initiative in partnership with the Minneapolis Public Schools. This new program expands their research-based model to grade three, age eight.

They firmly believe that every child should be born healthy, stay healthy and have the equal opportunity to succeed in school and life. And that can only happen with parents’ active participation. Through their in-home and center-based programming, they help parents create a healthy home and become their children’s first and most important teachers.

Alyssa Meyer | Healing Haiti

I think we should send financial support to Healing Haiti.  This organization believes that God has created every person with a purpose and that he offers an abundant and significant life through Him.  Healing Haiti’s mission is to bring clean water, food, housing and education to the most vulnerable people in Haiti.  They also create opportunities for people in the United States to learn about Haiti and how they can help be a part of something bigger than themselves.  Healing Haiti houses orphans, educates children, cares for Haitian elders, delivers the gift of water in the poorest slum in the western hemisphere, all while sharing the life-giving truth of the gospel of Jesus.

Virginia Thorkelson | Animal Humane Society

I am very passionate about the mission and vision statements of the Animal Humane Society: “ To engage the Hearts, Hands and Minds of the community to help animals and to compassionately and responsibly create a more humane world for animals.”

Lori Bigaouette | American Heart Association

In memory of my dad who was 44 when he died of a heart attack.

Andrew Held | Urban Homeworks

WHO IS MY NEIGHBOR?  In the parable of the Good Samaritan, Jesus teaches us that to be a good neighbor is to offer help to those we witness in need. While there are lots of wonderful organizations doing many good works around the world, the cause that I am nominating for our Thanksgiving donation is one that not only acts as a good neighbor itself, by helping those people who are struggling to find stable, affordable housing, but is working also to train more good neighbors by encouraging and supporting financially stable individuals & families to live in community with neighborhoods where social injustice is prevalent & economic disparity is at its widest.  Please help me support Urban Homeworks this year, and create meaningful engagement in the fight against social injustice right here in Minnesota.

Loren Van Patten | Kiva

Kiva seeks to alleviate poverty by infusing capital into a worldwide network of microfinance institutions.  Since being founded in 2005, Kiva has used the internet to connect people and inspire more than 1 million lenders to provide nearly $486 million of loans in 73 countries.  Lenders enjoy a 99.04% repayment rate.  Loans can be for as little as $25 and help to create opportunity for others around the world.  This organization means a lot to me because microfinances can help build the infrastructure low income individuals need to help lift themselves out of poverty in sustainable ways.  Microfinances often have a particular affection for empowering women as to the means to economically drive their families to a new reality.

David Rains | Timber Bay Youth Ministry – Ministry of Mark Busse

My close friend Mark Busse has a ministry at Timber Bay. He has a passion for helping troubled youth by building relationships, giving them a sense of purpose, and giving them real and lasting hope found in a relationship with Jesus. Mark’s ministry is extremely meaningful to me as it affects the youth in the community in which I live, and I know how grateful he would be for a financial gift that would enable him to reach more and more kids.

Karen Johnson | Camp Knutson

Camp Knutson is a great place where kids with special needs get the opportunity to connect with other kids that may be going through similar health concerns.  During their brief camp stay, kids get to temporarily escape their health burdens and just simply play!

Brenna Sheehan | Children’s Cancer Research Fund

This team partners with children’s hospitals to conduct leading-edge research in the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and cure of childhood cancers and blood-related disorders.  Their investments in key research initiatives and patient care have led to innovative treatments, faster cures, new discoveries, and compassionate quality-of-life programs that give hope to pediatric patients and their families.  Over the years I have known a few families that have benefited from cancer research but it did not hit home until my niece, 6 years cancer free, defeated sacrococcygeal teratoma with the help of many doctors throughout Iowa and Minnesota.  I love that this fund allows the doctors and nurses to work together to help give hope to so many little ones and their families.