St. Joseph, Red Wing, nabs max giving in one day

| November 18, 2016 | 1 Comment
St. Joseph in Red Wing raised $127,766.13 for Give to the Max Day Nov. 17. The parish finished sixth overall on the statewide leaderboard and first place among all mid-sized non-profits. Courtesy of St. Joseph

St. Joseph in Red Wing raised $127,766.13 for Give to the Max Day Nov. 17. The parish finished sixth overall on the statewide leaderboard and first place among all mid-sized non-profits. Courtesy of St. Joseph

Parishioners at St. Joseph in Red Wing have found a way to raise funds fast and build fellowship without the heavy planning of an annual parish festival.

They make Give to the Max Day one festive event, which has paid off with a second-straight finish in the top 10 for the statewide one-day giving push. St. Joseph finished sixth this year Nov. 17 with $127,766.13 from 69 gifts.

“It’s just absolutely amazing, the generosity of these people,” said Father Thomas Kommers, pastor of St. Joseph. “They get so excited about it.”

People come and go at St. Joseph’s Holy Family social hall between 6 a.m. and midnight for food, fellowship and fundraising on Give to the Max Day. Since the annual gathering for St. Joseph began four years ago, attendance and funds have grown significantly. The event is in lieu of an annual parish festival.

“This one-day giving event has allowed our parish to really have an excitement about our parish community, which is something a parish festival generates,” said Jordan Harris, St. Joseph’s parish administrator.  “It has allowed us to raise funds, but we found that this is a day where people come to our parish to give their donation.”

A committee formed at St. Joseph in 2012 to make the best use possible of Give to the Max Day. Its members inform parishioners in advance through marketing materials and information after Sunday Masses describing the projects the funds will benefit.

Funds this year will go toward the replacement of 50-year-old windows for the church. Any remaining funds will help cover the construction of a canopy outside the entrance of the parish’s social hall. For a parish of 950 households, covering those needs with a fundraiser protects the weekly collection for daily operations of the parish.

This year’s Give to the Max fundraiser marked the second-highest total for St. Joseph. The parish netted more than $135,700 in 2015. This year, it finished first among all mid-sized non-profits statewide for funds raised.

Taking first in that category boosts St. Joseph’s achievement; a category winner earns a $10,000 grant.

Give to the Max Day is the annual apex of GiveMN, a year-round online fundraiser for Minnesota’s charities launched in 2009. This year, Give to the Max Day donors gave more than $20 million to thousands of organizations.

Catholic Charities of St. Paul and Minneapolis also made the top 10, with $87,321 in gifts.

Other Twin Cities-area Catholic nonprofits among the top 100 were Sharing and Caring Hands in Minneapolis ($57,159), St. Stephen’s Human Services in Minneapolis ($44,668); Our Lady of Grace School in Edina ($24,130); and the Catholic Services Appeal Foundation ($21,630). The Franciscan Sisters of Little Falls, who serve in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, raised $18,648. Winona-based St. Mary’s University of Minnesota, which has Minneapolis and Apple Valley campuses, brought in $26,239.

Also receiving donations were the St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity ($11,625), St. John Vianney College Seminary ($7,780), St. Catherine University ($6,490) and the University of St. Thomas ($5,235).

Many other parishes, schools and organizations in the archdiocese participated, with several listing specific objectives for the funds on their GiveMN profile.

The top three earning organizations on Give to the Max Day 2016 overall were Second Harvest Heartland; Planned Parenthood of Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota; and Augsburg College in Minneapolis. Second Harvest brought in $313,579; Planned Parenthood, $220,230; and Augsburg, $208,469.

Maria Wiering contributed to this story.

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Category: Local News