I recently came across a story pointing out that charitable donations were up 25% in December of 2020 compared to 2019. According to statistics, 40 states saw an increase in contributions, with the average citizen donating $608 to charity in 2020. Very impressive given the fact that 2020 has been a difficult year for everyone.
That being said, in my opinion, the Brainerd Lakes Area has to be one of the most generous when it comes to charitable giving.
Over the years, we have been a witness to that generosity when conducting the Radiothon to End Child Abuse. This year, in spite of the pandemic and economic downturn, we surpassed our expectations and raised well over $74,000!
We partnered with the Salvation Army and Cub Foods in the Holiday Food Basket Program again this year, and we were blown away by the results. Lakes area residents stepped up again and donated over $29,000, well over twice the amount raised in 2019! So many families were helped by this program.
The Brainerd Lakes Chamber of Commerce came up with a brilliant idea to help area restaurants, bars and breweries with a program called Cuisine Cash. Again, the Brainerd Lakes Area went above and beyond and purchased over $171,000 worth of Cuisine Cash! 100% of that money will go back to area restaurants, bars, and breweries, and because of some generous grants associated with the Cuisine Cash program, Bridges of Hope also received over $5,000 to help families here in the lakes area. Truly amazing!
The Salvation Army conducts the Red Kettle Campaign every year during the Christmas season. Once again, the Brainerd Lakes Area came through with a staggering display of generosity. Lakes area residents donated $173,000, which was $18,000 over the goal for 2020!
Let’s not forget about the incredible pay-it-forward event at the Brainerd Dairy Queen. For 2½ days, 900 customers paid for the vehicle behind them, purchasing $10,000 worth of food.
These examples of generosity, make me extremely proud to live in the Brainerd Lakes Area.