Welch, Birkholz Named “10 Days of Giving” Co-Chairs in Winona

Trust Merchants Bank

Nate Birkholz

Jen Welch

Jen Welch

Jennifer Welch and Nate Birkholz have been named co-chairs for the 2015 “10 Days of Giving,” which runs December 1-10. They will lead Merchants Bank employees in their efforts to collect food to benefit the food shelf programs operated by Winona Volunteer Services.

“Each year we are amazed at the generosity of people in Winona County,” said Welch, who is serving her second year as co-chair. “They truly recognize others are less fortunate and do what they can to help.”

Last year, the “10 Days of Giving” collected 231,155 of food, putting the 26-year total at 2,608,182 pounds. Two pounds of food are calculated for each dollar brought in, with the percentage of monetary donations increasing each year.

“It’s been my experience that people in Winona County both recognize the need and then do all they can to meet that need,” said Birkholz, who is serving his first year as co-chair. He has been with the Merchants organization for two years and heads the Merchants Bank Trust Department. “It’s gratifying to see that sincere response and the response of my co-workers. I believe nearly every employee at Merchants Bank in Winona contributes in some way to the food drive.”

In 2014 Winona Volunteer Services had 906 households using the food shelf each month, with another 88 households per month using the emergency food shelf. In total, an average of just over 36,700 pounds of food was distributed each month.

As in the past, Merchants will be collecting at its locations as well as schools and participating businesses around the area. For questions, please call Welch at 457-1108 or Birkholz at 457-1156. The “10 Days of Giving” will officially kick off with a press conference at 10 a.m., December 1 at Merchants Bank in downtown Winona. Monetary donations can be made out to “10 Days of Giving.” Monetary donations can be mailed to, or dropped off at Merchants Bank, 102 E. 3rd Street, Winona, MN 55987, attn: Chad Anderson. If you would like to make a donation online, you can go directly to the Winona Volunteer Services website. Indicate “10 Days of Giving” after entering your name.