Caledonia Charities looking for more community-minded folks

Some of the persons representing groups and organizations that receive donations from Caledonia Charities met at the high school last week. They are from left, Jill Hahn- Houston County Care & Share, Mike Jergenson- Boy Scout Troop 51 Scoutmaster, Donna Pearson- Caledonia Care & Rehab, Jack Hauser- Caledonia Charities president and Wilma Schoh- Caledonia Charities treasurer. Photo by Zach Thomas

By Charlie Warner
Argus News Editor

Caledonia Charities is “looking for a few good men and women” to carry on a very valuable service many non-profit organizations in the community have benefited from for many decades.

Each year a group of dedicated, community-minded men and women put their talents together to organize a fundraising drive. And each year, for more than three decades, the Caledonia community has answered the call, donating around $10,000 annually to Caledonia Charities.

“We’ve been having 10 or 11 persons attending our meetings,” Caledonia Charities President Jake Hauser said last week. “According to our bylaws, we are supposed to have 15 directors.”

Hauser explained that one of the unwritten laws is that in order for a director to get off the board, he or she must find a replacement.

“We’ve had some of the same people on this board for 25, 30 years or more,” Hauser said. “And some of them have expressed a want to ‘retire’. So we’re looking for some new members.

Hauser pointed out that the organization meets just two times a year and with 15 directors, the various jobs don’t take up all that much time. Directors spend time going over the various requests for financial help, deciding how much money should be allocated to the various organizations, putting the annual solicitation letters together, sending them out and then collecting and compiling all of the donations.

“The Caledonia community has been so generous,” Hauser said. “There are many fundraisers organized for needy persons and families throughout the year. And folks living in this area support them so well. I guess that’s one of the benefits of living in a small town.”

Hauser provided a list of the recipients of the 2011 drive and how much each organization received. He noted that the vast majority of the money collected in Caledonia remains here. A few of the more prominent nation-wide organizations receive a small donation.

“We donate about 90 percent of what we collect each year. We hold a little back in case there is some type of local disaster where we can help a family out in their time of need,” Hauser said.

The 2011 campaign distributions included:

American Diabetes Association- $50; American Rehabilitation Council- $50; Arthritis and Rheumatism- $50; Children’s Home Society- $50; Kidney Foundation- $50; Mental health Association- $50; Epilepsy Foundation- $50; United Cerebral Palsy- $50, Girl Scouts- $1,000; Boy Scouts- $1,000; American Red Cross- $1,250; Camp Winnebago- $1,150; Home Delivered Meals- $1,300; Woodland/ABC- $1,150; ABLE- $700; Houston County Care & Share- $400; Semcac (emergency assistance)- $550; Semcac (detergent)- $300.

For more information about Caledonia Charities, contact Hauser at (507) 725-3329.

You can contact Charlie Warner at [email protected]