kids packing mealsFeed My Starving Children

Feed My Starving Children is an organization based in the Twin Cities that packs and ships food to the poorest people in the world, supplying aid stations and Christian relief efforts in Haiti, Eastern Africa, and elsewhere. This food is specially designed to supply the physical needs of malnourished people.  About half goes to children. Volunteers pack this food in large-scale, energetic, joyful events that even the very young can be part of.  Groups can travel to Eagan to be part of ongoing packs. Owatonna has held a community packing event in the fall since 2011.

Stay tuned for information on the 2017 Owatonna Pack!

Immigrant Education Outreach

You can volunteer with the Somali American Cultural Society of Owatonna and help Somali immigrants learn English and succeed in homework. You can work with children or adults. Contact Glenn to get involved!  

Habitat for Humanity

Provides decent, affordable housing for families which otherwise would not be able to own their own home. Often these families have endured some form of hardship.  There is usually an opportunity for individuals or groups to work together on some form of the building process (it may be siding, drywall mudding, painting or landscaping) on Saturdays in the summer, fall, and late fall.  Call Pat or Tina at 507-446-0112, or check their website.

packing a backpackThe Backpack Project

Some children in Owatonna rely on school lunch, and go hungry on the weekends. You can help fill backpacks of food for children to take home over the weekend. The backpacks go out on Fridays and come back on Mondays to be filled again. Contact  Julie to help feed kids!  

Steele County Clothesline

Provides clothing for our neighbors in need . This organization can use individual volunteers any day. Wednesdays and Thursdays are the best days for groups of 4 to 6 to volunteer.  Call Mary at 507-451-2550, or go to their website.  

Healthy Seniors

In Owatonna there are seniors who need help with their yard work. Individuals, families, and groups who want to help can contact Healthy Seniors of Steele County at 507-475-1494.  

Hospitality House

Hospitality House is the temporary homeless shelter for men in Owatonna. We can help by providing meals or supplies.  Call  Joleen at Hospitality House at 507-444-4042, or her cell 507-213-7527.

Lily Sparrow House

The Lily Sparrow House gives meaning to Matthew 6:25-34. The verse was paraphrased by Mother Teresa: “God takes care of the lilies and the sparrows, he will take care of you.” The individuals and families who come to the home for temporary housing share access to laundry facilities, food, and non-judgemental listening and encouragement. There are several ways to serve: money, food, household supplies, personal products, or gift cards for gas and groceries or drugstores are all appreciated. We have a team of volunteers who offer childcare for women pursuing jobs locally. This team gives women the ability to work until stable childcare assistance is available. We are always looking for extra hands paired with loving hearts for kids. Contact  Erin for more information.

Salvation Army

Provides assistance for the needy.  Salvation Army is often the last hope for people in need when other organizations can’t help. They could always use help straightening the floors, helping to price things, sorting in the intake area and setting things out, and cleaning.  Call Gena at 507-455-2023.  

serving dinnerFair Workers Meal and the Aurora Diner

Every year in August, 300,000 people attend the largest county fair in Minnesota right here in Owatonna, bringing visitors and workers from all over the country. Every year Good Shepherd works with Trinity Lutheran Church and Christ Community Covenant Church to provide a meal for the workers the night before the fair opens. These folks normally live on fair food, so they love the milk, fruit, and hospitality of people who gather to give. They are very appreciative! Contact Larry to volunteer!   The Aurora Diner is the only sit-down full service diner at the fair, with home-made pies and the works. Aurora Lutheran Church partners with other churches to operate the diner, and Good Shepherd always hosts the first night of the fair. A portion of the proceeds Good Shepherd receives are given to a local charity. Contact Phil to get involved!  

Straight River Clean-Up

On a Saturday in September volunteers wade into the Straight River to clean debris and litter from Steele County’s main waterway, fishing out old tires, plastic, furniture, and other items you won’t believe from the river bottom, and getting dirty for a good cause. This is not a job for the feeble, but individuals, families or groups can join in getting wet together.  Call Leslie at the Cannon River Watershed Partnership at 507-786-3913 for more information.