10 Days of Giving Co-Chairs Announced

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Mark Metzler and Jennifer Welch have been named co-chairs for this year’s “10 Days of Giving.”

The “10 Days of Giving” runs from December 1-10, with Merchants Bank employees helping the community collect food to benefit the food shelf programs operated by Winona Volunteer Services and the Southeastern Minnesota Rural Education & Resource Center in St. Charles.

“We hope the community will respond again to the great need,” Welch said. “We are amazed each year by how much people give to those who need our help.”

Last year, the “10 Days of Giving” set a record by collecting more than 280,000 pounds of food, putting the 25-year total at 2,377,227 pounds. Two pounds of food are calculated for each dollar brought in, although the reality shows that monetary donations often have a greater impact.

“Every year we are amazed at the generosity of the people in our area,” Metzler said.

In Winona in 2013 Winona Volunteer Services had 906 households using the food shelf each month, with another 93 households per month use the emergency food shelf. In total, an average of just over 37,255 pounds of food was distributed each month in 2013.

As in the past, Merchants will be collecting at its locations as well as schools and businesses around the area. For questions, please call Metzler at 494-0524 or Welch at 457-1108. 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.

Help to Make the “10 Days of Giving” a Success

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From December 1-10, the “10 Days of Giving” food drive and other events will be held at a number of Merchants Bank locations, including Winona, St. Charles, Onalaska, Cottage Grove, Hastings, Caledonia, Spring Grove, Cannon Falls and Red Wing.

The “10 Days of Giving” started in Winona and is now entering its 26th year. To date 2,377,227 pounds of food have been collected through monetary donations and the donations of non-perishable food items to help make sure no one in Winona County goes hungry. Last year, a record of more than 280,000 pounds of food was collected for Winona Volunteer Services, where the need is still great:

  • In 2013, 23,140 individuals were served at the food shelf at Winona Volunteer Services, and another 2,461 individuals were served with emergency food.
  • An average of 906 households were served each month.
  • An average of 93 households used the Emergency Food Shelf services each month in 2013. 
  • An average of 37,255 pounds of food was given out through food shelf programs monthly.

Opportunities to Give

Winona – You can drop off money or food at Merchants Bank in Winona, Goodview or Lakeside between December 1-10. You can mail a donation to Merchants Bank, 102 East Third Street, Winona, MN 55987, attn: “10 Days of Giving.” You can make a donation online by going directly to the Winona Volunteer Services website. Indicate “10 Days of Giving” after entering your name. You can also bring donations to the Holiday Train held at 4 p.m., December 9, Amtrak Station.

St. Charles – St. Charles is holding its “10 Days of Giving” December 1-10 to benefit the Southeastern Minnesota Resource Center. Please bring cash or food donations to Merchants Bank in St. Charles.

Onalaska – Onalaska employees will again be hosting the La Crosse Rotary Lights Event December 2 at Riverside Park in La Crosse, WI. Please bring cash or food donations that night to the event. 

Cottage Grove – Cottage Grove will be holding its “10 Days of Giving” between December 1-10 to benefit the Friends in Need Food Shelf. You can bring cash donations or toiletry items to Merchants Bank in Cottage Grove. You can also bring donations to the Holiday Train held at 5:45 p.m., December 10, south of the Sieben Bridge, in front of the Youth Service Bureau.

Hastings – Hastings will be holding its “10 Days of Giving” between December 1-10 to benefit Hastings Family Service. Bring cash or food donations to Merchants Bank in Hastings. You can also donate at the Holiday Train stop at 8:30 p.m., December 9, at Canadian Pacific Depot, 500 E. Second Street.

Red Wing – Merchants Bank in Red Wing will be hosting a Change Collection, where they will collect the change you donate and then donate that money to benefit local people in need. It’s a great way to empty your pockets and change dishes to help others.

Cannon Falls – Merchants Bank in Cannon Falls will also be hosting a Change Collection during the holiday season at the Bank to benefit local people in need.

Spring Grove – Merchants Bank in Spring Grove will celebrate the “10 Days of Giving” by giving area residents an opportunity to purchase a bag of groceries supplied by Red’s IGA for people in need. Stop in the Bank for more details.

Thank You
We know this is a busy time of year and many organizations have a need. We hope that you will consider the “10 Days of Giving.” Thank you for your consideration.

“10 Days of Giving” Raises Food and Money in St. Charles

10DaysLogoST. CHARLES, Minn. – The Southeast Minnesota Rural Education and Resource Center received 3,300 pounds of food and $500 from the “10 Days of Giving,” December 1-10, at Merchants Bank in St. Charles.

Area businesses and individuals added to the total by bring food and money to Merchants in St. Charles. Also included in the total was $250 that the Southeast Minnesota Rural Education and Resource Center received from “Swipe Out Hunger,” a Facebook giveaway that Merchants ran to coincide with “10 Days of Giving.” “Swipe Out Hunger” benefited food shelves throughout the region.

“We are thankful for the generosity of our neighbors, and we are grateful that we have the opportunity to help the good people at the Southeast Minnesota Rural Education and Resource Center,” said Sandra Pasche of Merchants Bank.

Merchants Bank has been holding the “10 Days of Giving” for the past 25 years. This is the second year for the Facebook giveaway.

“10 Days of Giving” Record-Breaking Year Ends by Topping 280,000 Pounds

10DaysLogoWINONA, Minn. – Final tallies put the 25th Anniversary of the “10 Days of Giving” at 280,082 pounds of food.

The total breaks down to $127,626 in cash and 24,830 pounds of food. The previous record was set in 2009 when just over 250,000 pounds of food was collected. For the purposes of the total, two pounds of food are counted for each dollar.

“This year’s drive was successful because we came together as a community to help people, to make sure that no one in Winona County goes hungry,” said Mark Metzler, who is co-chair of the food drive. “Most of all, we are moved by the generosity of our neighbors who have made the effort to make a difference for someone else.”

This is the 25th anniversary of the “10 Days of Giving” and the 40th anniversary of Winona Volunteer Services, which benefits from the Winona contributions. The 25-year total for pounds of food collected now stands at 2,393,767.

“At Merchants Bank, we are thankful that we have the ability and employee dedication to help facilitate this drive. It really is a privilege,” Metzler said.

More than 30 area schools and child-care centers and more than 150 businesses participated in this year’s drive.

Fifth Annual “10 Days of Giving” in Cottage Grove

Merchants Bank in Cottage Grove Launches Fifth Annual “10 Days of Giving;” “Swipe Out Hunger” Will Also Benefit the Friends in Need Food Shelf

COTTAGE GROVE, Minn. – Merchants Bank is launching its fifth annual “10 Days of Giving” event to help those in need. The event officially runs December 1-10, although it does extend through the arrival of the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train and Sheryl Crow’s concert, scheduled for 5 p.m. Saturday, December 14.

“We hope that people will take a few minutes out of their busy lives to enjoy Sheryl Crow and the Holiday Train and help those people who are less fortunate,” said Randy Bachman of Merchants, who serves on the Holiday Train committee.

This year, in addition to the “10 Days of Giving,” Merchants Bank is helping nominated local food shelves through “Swipe Out Hunger,” where Merchants is donating a nickel to those nominated food shelves, up to a total of $10,000, every time a Merchants Bank debit card or credit card is used between November 29 and December 15. The Friends in Need Food Shelf was nominated by Merchants Bank in Cottage Grove to benefit from “Swipe Out Hunger.”

Supporters of the Friends in Need Food Shelf can vote once a day, Nov. 29-Dec. 15, at the Merchants Bank Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/MerchantsBank. At the end of the giveaway, Hastings Family Service will receive a percentage of the total amount of money donated to “Swipe Out Hunger” based on the percentage of votes it receives on Facebook.

Cottage Grove has been a highly successful stop for the Holiday Train with the Friends in Need Food Shelf benefitting from generous contributions of non-perishable food items, toiletries and money. Attendees are encouraged to bring toiletries and cash donations this year as well.

Area residents are encouraged to bring cash donations and non-perishable food items to the Holiday Train and to Merchants Bank, 7200 East Point Douglas Road S, as well as participating businesses and South Washington County schools.

Merchants Bank in Hastings Kicks Off “10 Days of Giving;” “Swipe Out Hunger” to Help

HASTINGS, Minn. — Merchants Bank in Hastings will partner again this year with Hastings Family Service (HFS) and area schools to help those in need during the “10 Days of Giving” food drive, December 1-10.

This year, in addition to the “10 Days of Giving,” Merchants Bank is helping nominated local food shelves through “Swipe Out Hunger,” where Merchants is donating a nickel to those nominated food shelves, up to a total of $10,000, every time a Merchants Bank debit card or credit card is used between November 29 and December 15. Hastings Family Service was nominated by Merchants Bank in Hastings to benefit from “Swipe Out Hunger.”

Supporters of Hastings Family Service can vote once a day, November 29-December 15, at the Merchants Bank Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/MerchantsBank. At the end of the giveaway, Hastings Family Service will receive a percentage of the total amount of money donated to “Swipe Out Hunger” based on the percentage of votes it receives on Facebook.

For the past several years, students from around the Hastings area and community members collected food and money for those in the area who are less fortunate. Much of the food is collected during the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train visit to Hastings, scheduled this year for 4:30 p.m., December 12, at the Canadian Pacific Depot, 500 East Second Street.

“People in our area are generous and that is a great benefit to people who have a need,” said Bruce Goblirsch, President of Merchants Bank in Hastings. “Hastings Family Service does a tremendous job, and we are very happy to support its efforts.”

Area residents are encouraged to drop off monetary donations and non-perishable food items for the “10 Days of Giving” at Merchants Bank in Hastings, 1525 Vermillion Street. The Hastings bank is one of 20 Merchants Bank community banking locations throughout Minnesota and Wisconsin. Merchants just announced that has come to an agreement with Alliance Bank to purchase an Alliance location in Eau Claire, Wis. That sale is pending regulatory approval. Merchants Bank is a member FDIC.

10 Days Of Giving: The need continues

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Greg Evans

Written by Greg Evans for the Winona Daily News

For each of the past 25 years, the first 10 days of December have been treated as special at Merchants Bank and throughout the Winona community. It has become an extraordinary tradition for the entire community to embrace a spirit of collaboration and giving that far exceeds the expectations established when the idea for the “10 Days of Giving” food drive was hatched in 1989.

As the recently-hired marketing coordinator for Merchants Bank at the time, I became aware of the inability for Winona Volunteer Services to keep and adequate supply of non-perishable items on its emergency food shelves to meet the needs of people who were going hungry throughout Winona County. I was stunned. Growing up in Winona, I never saw a visible sign of hunger in our community. It shouldn’t be that way in a community as richly blessed as Winona.

Fundamental to Merchants Bank is the responsibility to step up as a community leader when there is a need to be met. I knew of an emergency food drive initiative coordinated by WGN-TV/Radio for the city of Chicago. I wondered aloud to the bank’s executive management team led by Pete Roehl if it would be possible for the bank to make something like that happen in Winona. Clearly, it was more than simply possible.

The partnership between Merchants Bank and Winona Volunteer Services that began modestly in 1989 has now grown to include virtually every viable institution throughout the community. “10 Days of Giving” has become its own brand, standing on its own because it symbolizes all that is truly special about my hometown. When there is a need, Winonans roll up their sleeves and help other Winonans.

As “10 Days of Giving” has grown beyond anybody’s expectations, you have helped feed hundreds of needy people throughout Winona County. And, unfortunately, the need for the services provided by Winona Volunteer Services continues to grow. As the community celebrates this, the 25th year of the “10 Days of Giving” food drive, please take pride in knowing your participation has provided emergency relief for hundreds of Winona Volunteer Services clients who remain virtually invisible to most of us. More importantly, give generously again this year at any Merchants Bank location, participating businesses or Winona Volunteer Services so that nobody in Winona County will go hungry this winter.

Greg Evans is Regional President of Merchants Bank — Cannon Falls, Hampton and Red Wing