Village of Hope fundraiser a success

The Village of Hope, after losing a grant, was facing the closure of the only family-based homeless shelter in Bemidji, but with help from the United Way of the Bemidji Area, was able to raise enough money to stay in operation.

“I decided to reach out to the United Way to share what had happened and see if they could help,” said Sandy Hennum, Executive Director of Village of Hope,“I can’t tell you how much their partnership means to our small organization and the families that we serve. Denae and her team, of course, were excited to help.”

Executive Director of the United Way of Bemidji Area, Denae Alamano, shared “We have a mission of convening the community to create lasting change in the Bemidji Area. We saw the opportunity to help Village of Hope do just that.”

According to a release, the 12 Days of Hope social media campaign was a success, and exceeded the $25,000 fundraising goal by $6,000.

As part of the campaign, the shelter hosted an open house, and shared videos of board member interviews, stories of healing and statistics about the shelter.

“This campaign helped put us on the right track,” said Hennum, “and though we need to continue to research and look for sustainable strategies, United Way’s assistance gave us some much needed breathing room. United Way is making a difference for everyone in our community and I’m grateful to all who donate to them on an annual basis.”

Check out their Facebook page to learn more about what they do here.


Larissa Donovan is the News Director for the stations of Paul Bunyan Broadcasting and has been, almost without interruption, since Election Day 2016. She covers events and issues in north central Minnesota, which include local government, crime, courts, education, environment and social issues. She studied communications at Bemidji State University and received her degree in 2018. Larissa, native to the great state of New York, grew up in Bemidji, and enjoys spending her spare time with her family and pet cat. She also loves Star Trek, punk rock music and the theater.


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