Push by realtors to benefit local causes
Realtors from the Owatonna area are focused on more than just selling houses this month. They are also teaming up to raise money for a couple of local causes.
The Realtors and their affiliates are hoping to come up with $10,000 by the end of June by appealing to the public for help. If they accomplish that goal, Southeast Minnesota Realtors will provide another $10,000.
The money will be donated to Transitional Housing of Steele County as well as the Movies in the Park offered through Owatonna Parks & Recreation, according to Ryan Gillespie, a member of the donation drive and mortgage banker with Bremer Bank.
“We want to capitalize on the full $10,000,” Gillespie said. “Every little bit will help and know that everything given will be matched.”
Gillespie and area realtors hit the streets last week during the first Downtown Thursday in Owatonna. They handed out cards encouraging people to donate to the drive at www.4giving.com/donation/6D07.
During the first few weeks, the drive has raised about $3,200.
Gillespie said the group is working on a raffle for the next couple of weeks to help push over the $10,000 mark.
“We are giving a big push to give back to the community knowing there were difficult challenges over the past year with COVID-19,” said Gillespie.
The fundraising committee, Gillespie said, brainstormed and came up with two causes that have significant needs within the community. The Movies in the Park did not have a sponsor, while Transitional Housing deals with homeless youth. “There are families that can’t provide the bare essentials,” she said.
More than 300 people are homeless in Steele County on any given night, including small children and families, according to Transitional Housing, an interfaith nonprofit organization. Some live in abject poverty and abusive relationships, while others live in their cars or might be fortunate enough to have temporary housing with friends or in shelters.
Besides Gillespie, there are eight other members on the service committee: Michelle Jandt, Janita Paulson, Jen Teichrow, Meghan Malchow, Charlotte McCabe, Jen Fielding, Mark Meier and Jannell Tufte.
Jandt was instrumental in getting together the fundraising campaign. “We were trying to figure out the best way to come together for the community that serves us,” said Jandt, who has been a realtor in Owatonna for 21 years. “We are all united in this. We are all in it for our community.”
Owatonna Realtor Donation Drive
Who: Owatonna area realtors and their affiliates
What: Raise $10,000
Why: Benefit Transitional Housing of Steele County and Owatonna Parks & Rec
How: Donate at www.4giving.com/donation/6D07