As we near the end of 2014 and reflect on the past year, we think of all the men, women, and children we have been able to serve, the intervention to crisis we’ve provided, and the safety and hope that has been fostered for families in need. Without the support and generosity of compassionate individuals and businesses in our community and surrounding area, we would not have been able to accomplish our mission. There are numerous outreach opportunities, community events, and fundraisers we participated in and hosted throughout the year as well.
The first quarter of the year was spent planning our 24th Annual Banquet and Auction which ultimately took place in April. Many hours of planning and effort go into this event – our largest of the year – so we were thrilled to experience record breaking ticket sales and fundraising. February brought us a very successful “Giving Hearts Day” - a day of online giving in Minnesota and North Dakota sponsored by Dakota Medical Foundation. In an effort to reduce expenses, we partnered with three other Detroit Lakes non-profits to pool marketing and staff resources. Teen Dating Violence is recognized in February, so staff focused on getting into area high schools and sharing information about healthy relationships as it pertains to teen dating.
The 2nd quarter of the year began with hosting our 24th Annual Banquet & Auction at the Holiday Inn. We had great fundraising success and a LOT of fun with all who attended. (The 25th Annual Banquet is April 10th - save the date!!) April is also Sexual Assault Awareness month, so in addition to fundraising, we were able to spend time providing community outreach to the students at MState as well as the community at large via publications and media.
In May we formed a committee and jumped into planning another event – a Fundraising Auction comprised solely of donated items. May was also the perfect month to host a kick-off event for our new Kinship Program. “Birds & Blooms” took place at La Barista and was a great opportunity for the community to learn about this new mentoring program for children needing a positive role model in their lives. In addition, we co-hosted the Annual Dove Conference in collaboration with White Earth on May 6th. This vital conference brings speakers from all over the U.S. to provide essential education, resources, and training to those in our field as well those in education, foster care, and law enforcement. It also continues to serve as a networking opportunity for professionals to share best practices as to how to best serve victims of violence and crime.
The Fundraising Auction planning and heavy lifting culminated in the 3rd quarter on August 16th. Thanks to generous donors, we were also able to raffle three prizes which were awarded following the auction. For the 8th year in a row, we charged through the crowds at We-Fest for our annual bucket drive. We then moved right into planning our Annual Children’s Breakfast as well as Give to the Max Day taking place in October and November.
The last quarter of the year is notoriously busy with the holidays, those needing aid, and those offering to sponsor families for Christmas. In addition to hosting the Children’s Breakfast and Give to the Max Day, we also connect sponsors with families whose children typically go without. We were proud to again be selected as the recipient of the Payless Gives grant which allowed us to host an event in which our clients could obtain boots and shoes for their children.
Over the course of the year, our staff provided numerous presentations on topics ranging from Elder Abuse to Domestic Violence to Bullying Prevention. To give back to the agencies and individuals that support us, we participate in the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign, the United Way Payroll Drive, the United Way Community Celebration, and the Week of the Young Child among many other community events. Thank you for supporting us & please stay tuned for a busy 2015!