Lee Grim, at left, and Karina McLellan, far right, of Ruby’s Pantry Benevolence Fund, present a $500 benevolence check to Servants of Shelter vice chair Mel Mattsen, standing at center, and SOS volunteer Nancy Johnson, seated. The group posed for a photo while working at the SOS fundraising booth during the International Falls Bass Championship activities Aug. 23.

Servants of Shelter leaders recently accepted a donation to continue their work from the International Falls Ruby’s Pantry Benevolence Fund.

Servants of Shelter, also known as SOS, is a community-based nonprofit 501 ©3 organization committed to upholding the dignity and respect of homeless persons by providing temporary shelter, guidance, and access to community resources.

SOS provided 1,190 bed nights of shelter from January through April in 2019. Each month SOS spends an average of $600 to provide overflow housing at local motels for those who do not stay at the SOS owned shelter in International Falls.

Providing that funding for overflow housing continues to be a significant and ongoing expense for the organization. The benevolence funding will fulfill SOS’s request for assistance with that portion of their budget.

Community members that have attended Ruby’s distributions during the past 45 months have donated $26,550 in response to requests.

The money from the benevolence fund comes from the Ruby’s Pop-Up Pantry guests, who donate $20 American cash at a Ruby’s Pantry food distribution. Of that donation, $2 goes into the International Falls benevolence fund. Upon request, money from the fund is distributed to nonprofit organizations or groups in the greater International Falls area.

Ruby’s Pantry leaders encourage nonprofit groups in the area to seek benevolence committee funds. Committee guidelines for requesting funds can be obtained by calling Backus Community Center at 285-7225.

The next Ruby’s Pop-up Pantry distribution is at 5 p.m. Sept. 9 at Backus Community Center. Anyone who eats qualifies.

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