Daniels and Linder

At left, Ariana Daniels, director of Servants of Shelter of Koochiching County, and Tammy Linder, business banker at Bremer Bank, pose for a photo as Daniels picks up the donated Home For Good kits to distribute to families in need.

This winter, five families from International Falls will receive a Welcome Home Kit filled with household essentials through the Bremer Home For Good initiative.

Made possible in part by Bremer Bank’s growing partnership with United Way, the Bremer Home For Good collaboration will provide 1,500 Welcome Home Kits to families and individuals who are transitioning from homelessness to secure, permanent housing throughout Bremer’s footprint in Minnesota, North Dakota, and Wisconsin, according to a news release.

Kits will also be given to families who have been hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic and related economic challenges. According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, more than 565,000 people in the U.S. experience unsheltered homelessness each night.

On Nov. 9-10, a small, socially distanced group of Bremer and United Way employees volunteered in shifts to assemble 650 kits at the Greater Twin Cities United Way headquarters, which were then distributed by local Bremer branch leaders to local organizations that serve community members in need. In December, Bremer will once again partner with the Greater Twin Cities United Way to sponsor a related event in which 850 additional Welcome Home Kits will be distributed to families in need across the Twin Cities metro area.

Filled with household essentials including plates, drinking ware, silverware, utensils, paper towels, toilet paper, facial tissue, toothbrushes, and homemade blankets, packed kits will be distributed to more than 65 Bremer locations throughout its Greater Minnesota, western Wisconsin and North Dakota footprint.

An extension of Bremer’s commitment to affordable housing as one of its three pillars of charitable giving, the Bremer Home For Good partnership represents the company’s philanthropic mission – originally stemming from founder Otto Bremer – to invest in the communities they serve.

“Reliable housing is a crucial part of strong and thriving communities. Since its founding, Bremer Bank has been committed to making real-world differences in our communities so they can flourish and thrive,” said Jeanne Crain, president and CEO of Bremer Bank. “The Bremer Home For Good partnership is a tangible opportunity to support our neighbors as they settle into safe, stable housing. We are proud to partner with the Greater Twin Cities United Way on such a meaningful initiative.”

“On any given night in the Twin Cities, about 6,700 people experience homelessness. With the weather getting colder and the ongoing economic impact of COVID-19, helping people secure housing and the supplies they need are more important than ever,” said John Wilgers, President and CEO of Greater Twin Cities United Way. “We are thankful for Bremer Bank’s growing support and appreciate their relentless commitment as a changemaker to help create a community where all people thrive.”