Here are a few Area Service Organizations that could use help from groups of people:

Steele County Clothesline

Provides clothing for our neighbors in need . While 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.

Feed My Starving Children

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.  See their web site for more information.

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 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.

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 and Lily Sparrow House

Hospitality House is the temporary homeless shelter for men in Owatonna. Lilly Sparrow House is the shelter for women and children, many of whom have had to quickly leave where they were living. There is currently no shelter in Owatonna for families.  We can help by providing meals.  Contact Nancy at Lilly Sparrow at 507-451-9093 or Joleen at Hospitality House at 507-444-4042, or her cell 507-213-7527.

 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.

The Sandwich Project of Minnesota

Feeds the homeless by delivering sandwiches to shelters. Your role would be making the sandwiches.  To make 150 sandwiches takes an $8 donation to the organization, plus the cost of the ingredients.  Six people can make 150 sandwiches in about 30 minutes, for a total cost of perhaps $100.  See their website for drop-off sites for the sandwiches and further instructions.

Straight River Clean-Up

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