2015 NAUW Grant Allocations

(May 26, 2015) – The Northfield Area United Way will allocate $263,000 in grants from its 2014 campaign to 21 programs that improve lives in the areas of basic needs, education and health.

Northfield Area United Way grants are awarded annually to local, tax-exempt organizations that offer services in one or more of these areas: Dennison, Dundas, Kilkenny, Lonsdale, Montgomery, Northfield and Webster.

Grant allocations are made with the help of community volunteers including financial experts who conduct a financial review of each applicant. Northfield Area United Way grants are aimed at solving problems in our community. Priority consideration is given to programs that serve the greatest need, and help the greatest number of community members.

Following are this year’s grants recipients, awarded for the period July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016.

Basic Needs:

  • Community Action Center, offering emergency assistance, needs assessment, advocacy and case management to people in the Northfield area with incomes less than 200 percent of poverty.
  • Hope Center, offering 24-hour services to victims of domestic and sexual violence.
  • Ruth’s House of Hope, offering transitional and permanent housing and supportive services for women and families who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.
  • Three Rivers Community Action’s Hiawathaland Auxiliary Regional Transit volunteer transportation program, driving local residents to destinations outside of the public transit schedule and area.
  • Three Rivers Community Action’s Chamomile Housing program, providing transitional housing and case management for homeless people.


  • Bridges to Kindergarten, a three-week intensive pre-kindergarten program held in August at each of the Northfield School District’s neighborhood schools.
  • Camp FRIENDS, providing social, recreational and educational programming for middle school and high school students with disabilities.
  • KickSTART to Kindergarten, promoting and enhancing educational experiences for children entering kindergarten in the Tri-City United Public Schools.
  • Northfield Promise, coordinating the community in aligning resources in order to help all Northfield children thrive, from cradle to career.
  • PRIMEtime, providing low-income and at-risk Northfield children with free mentoring, tutoring, skill-building workshops and cultural enrichment programs after school and over the summer.
  • Project Friendship, pairing youths in grades two through seven with college-aged mentors for one-on-one mentorship.
  • Project ABLE, providing social, recreational and educational opportunities for adults with disabilities.
  • TORCH, seeking to increase the graduation and post-secondary attendance rates of Northfield’s Latino, low-income, minority and first-generation students.
  • Union of Youth, offering Northfield youth free programming, as well as leadership and community services opportunities and access to caring adults via mentoring and workshops.


  • Chemical Health Services of the Northfield Public Schools, addressing the social and emotional well-being of students, including chemical and mental health services.
  • HealthFinders Collaborative, providing free-high-quality, culturally appropriate health care and wellness services to low-income, uninsured and underinsured residents.
  • Infants Remembered in Silence (IRIS), dedicated to helping parents, family, friends and professionals following the death of a child.
  • Northfield Healthy Community Initiative, identifying needs for youth and families, providing ideas and vision, building coalitions to develop and run programs, and writing and managing large collaborative grants.
  • Northfield Senior Center, a fitness and lifestyle center for older adults to connect with their peers while working toward a common goal to be healthy, creative, social and engaged.
  • Northfield Youth Sports Collaborative, a scholarship fund that makes it possible for all Northfield youth to participate in sports associations regardless of their families’ financial circumstances.
  • SEMCAC, serving well-balanced, low-cost noon meals to seniors Monday through Friday at the Northfield Community Resource Center.

Thursdays Table Trial Run 006

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Group Volunteering Opportunities for You and Your Friends

Do you have a book group, knitting nook, biking pals, running mates or friends and family who would like to take the volunteer challenge as a group during National Volunteer Week in April? How about planning an activity for May? (April plans bring May hands?)

Here are some great group volunteering activities the Northfield Area United Way can connect you with. To get started, contact Elizabeth Child, NAUW executive director, connect@northfieldunitedway.org or 507-664-3510.

Northfield Public Schools

Reading to small groups of children or doing an art activity with a small group. Can accommodate a large group of volunteers.

Greenvale Park Community School in Northfield

Grade level community meals (similar to Thursday’s Table for families by grade levels).  We are currently looking for volunteers on Thursday, May 14.  Below are the positions we need to fill that evening.

Prep Cook 1, 3-5:30 Prep Cook 2, 3-5:30 Pots/pans scrubber 1, 3:30-5:30pm Server 1, 5-7pm Server 2, 5-7pm Server 3, 5-7pm Server 4, 5-7pm Pots/pans scrubber 2, 5:30-7:30pm Cleanup 1, 5:30-7:30pm Cleanup 2, 5:30-7:30pm Cleanup 3, 5:30-7:30pm

Union of Youth (the Key) in Northfield

Yard work/planting/ gardening in our backyard. Flexible date.

Mother’s Day event on Friday, May 8 in CAC in Northfield (event for seniors)

9:30 am. Setting tables

10:30-1 p.m. assist with dishing food or doing dishes

10:45 serving food, coffee, bussing tables

11:30 meals will be served and clean up follows

Seeds Farm, May through September, in Northfield

Volunteer to help cultivate fresh produce and substantially reduce the cost of nutritious foods for local families. Your commitment? 9 hours on the farm.

Hope Center in Faribault

Painting hallways and front office area. Times are flexible. Many volunteers can be accommodated.

IRIS (Infants Remembered In Silence) in Faribault

Paint inside, Prep for outside painting, Paint outside (weather allowing),  remove old bathroom fixtures/plumbing, hang sheetrock, clean garage out, house cleaning, inventory…. the list goes on and on and on! Times are flexible.

Seeds Farm, May through September, in Northfield

Volunteer to help cultivate fresh produce and substantially reduce the cost of nutritious foods for local families. Your commitment? 9 hours on the farm.


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Be a volunteer gardener this summer!

Mobile Vegetable Market

Farm-to-Table for to Low-Income Residents

Do you like to garden? Want to help cultivate farm-fresh foods for low-income residents? Volunteer between late May and late September!

Little is more important to the health of families than eating fresh, unprocessed foods. We have incredible resources in Northfield, but many families can’t afford locally grown foods or don’t have ready access to them.

So, the Northfield Area United Way is launching a volunteer program with Seeds Farm on the southern edge of Northfield. Seeds Farm is able to subsidize farm shares through a program called ‘worker share’ where devoted volunteers help out on the farm. As a volunteer farmer, you help keep the cost of food down. Once harvested, the food is distributed in farmers markets near low-income neighborhoods as part of Growing  Up Healthy’s Martes en el Parque (Tuesdays in the Park) program, pictured. Volunteers are asked to commit 3 hours a week, for 3 weeks (or more) — 9 hours total — plus a training session in early May.

Please let the Northfield Area United Way know if you are interested in volunteering, today! Contact Elizabeth Child, connect@northfieldunitedway.org.






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Attention Donors! Thank You Reception and FREE Try the YMCA Days

As a donor, you are invited to a United Way Donor Reception and 2 days to try the YMCA, FREE ALL DAY Friday, February  6 and Saturday, February 7, 2015.  Also, join us in the Y’s community room for a special Thank you Donor Reception with refreshments and prizes, plus the fabulous opportunity to meet our board and staff members, sign up kids ages 0-5 for Imagination Library offering free books, and join our brand new 100% Local Volunteer Challenge. The reception is happening:

  • Friday, February 6, 4:30-6:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, February 7, 9-11 a.m.

Try-the-Y Days are all day Friday and Saturday, and you may come and go as many times as you want, along with either a guest or your family members (all free).

  • Y-Try Hours: Friday, 5 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday, 7a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Child Watch with up to 2 hours of free child care: Friday 8 a.m. to noon and 4-7 p.m.
  • Try 40+ cardio machines, plus weight machines/free weights and group fitness classes
  • The pool: Lap swim is 5:30-8:30 a.m. Fri and 7-9 a.m. Sat, see the website (www.northfieldymca.org) for Open Swim  The slide is open Sat. noon-5 p.m.
  • Enjoy free WIFI in the community room

So, if you are looking for some fun activities to do with a friend or your family, feel free to check it out!  There is no obligation!  If you want more specifics on what the Y has to offer, current swim lesson or class schedules, etc., please see their website: northfieldymca.org

Thank you for your donation to the United Way and to our community. Hope to see you there!

Elizabeth Child, Executive Director

Northfield Area United Way

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New Stats in Giving May Surprise You

Fundraising nerds, the stats are in. Americans still give about 3 percent of their income to charities and have for decades, according to a new report by the Chronicle of Philanthropy.  But that figure doesn’t tell the really interesting story – one that I believe tells of a sense of community where most of us live – at the lower and middle parts of the income spectrum.

While it seems unfortunate that Americans earning more than $200,000 reduced their giving by 4.6 percent between 2006 and 2012 –  the figures just released – it is also heartening that lower income and middle income Americans increased their percentage of giving. Those making under $100,000 upped their contributions by $4.5 percent. The down side to this, of course, is the money they spend on charity may come out of essential needs. Yet I have to believe there is a pay back in the connection and the pride that they can contribute to their neighbors’ well-being.

What about the Why?

I wish I knew why these stats are as they are. What I do know is that the Northfield Area tracks pretty closely with the national data. Between 2006 and 2012 giving did go down a bit here per capita. We give close to the average – 3.13 percent.  We used to give 3.21 percent in 2006.

Less is more

Here’s a staggering figure – those who make under $25,000 give more than twice the average percentage – 7.79 percent – to charities. These figures are based on tax returns. I’m guessing the amount could be higher since many people don’t itemize at the lower to middle end of the income spectrum. Could a tax accountant weigh in please?

Northfield trends

The 55057 (Northfield) area code’s biggest giving total comes from those earning $100,000 to $200,000 – giving Northfield more than $5 million of the more than $16 million given in 2012. They give 3.05 percent of their income, as do those making $200,000 and up.

What I have observed at the Northfield Area United Way in 2014, though our campaign is not over, is exactly what is reported nationally – lower to middle income residents are stretching to give. Those at higher incomes are giving less to the United Way. Anecdotally, I hear major capital campaigns could be affecting annual giving for foundational services. Others remain committed to the United Way mission.

Why do you think it’s happening?

I would love to hear your comments on the reason behind these giving trends.



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