Why invest in the United Way?

The United Way of Otter Tail and Wadena Counties is still 20% away from raising their 2020 goal

The United Way of Otter Tail and Wadena Counties held their second annual Ribfest in the Perham Central Market sparkling lot from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 2. The proceeds from the event went to local United Way programs. According to United Way Area Coordinator for Perham and Wadena Summer Hammond, Ribfest went well and they sold out of ribs. Working at Ribfest was (l-r) Summer Hammond, Cindy Murphy, Gina Meyer, and Matt Settel. (RosaLin Alcoser/Focus)

Because the community invests in the best for its children, health, and community. United Way of Otter Tail and Wadena Counties said in a news release they invest in the community because they believe in providing an opportunity for everyone to thrive.

This past September, the United Way kicked off our 2020 East Otter Tail campaign with a $45,000 goal. As of last week, they have raised more than $47,000 but the goal of $400,000 for Otter Tail and Wadena counties was at 80% complete. The United Way believes that the remaining 20% can be reached by Dec. 31.

While 2020 has been challenging for everyone from distance learning, working from home, public restrictions and countless uncertainties, the United Way knows that uniting communities is their strength and East Otter Tail County has stepped up for their beloved communities.

By investing in United Way, all dollars stay local and go toward programs such as Boys and Girls Club, Coats for Kids, Empowering Kids, Feeding Backpack Program, Imagination Library, Kinship, Prescription for Reading along with mobile food drops.

Community investments have served over:


  • 170 students in the Feeding Backpack program
  • 120 students in the Stuff the Bus for school supplies
  • 60 children participating in Imagination Library
  • 40 families in Coats for Kids

United Way looks at the big picture and networks with community agencies focused on similar issues of food insecurity, health and education. Together they provide great services to the community they care for so much.

The United Way extends thanks to its Community Donors:

  • Re-Use-It Thrift Store
  • All Creatures Veterinary Clinic
  • Sanford Health
  • BHH Planners Arch
  • Schoeneberger Funeral and Cremation Service
  • Boys and Girls Club of the Perham Area
  • Schornack Rentals
  • Perham Bremer Bank
  • Shearer’s Snacks
  • Calvary Lutheran Church
  • Perham State Farm Insurance – Jake Bothwell
  • Dennis W. Happel Attorney at Law
  • State Farm Insurance – Ed Winjum
  • Edward Jones- Perham
  • United Community Bank
  • Esser Plumbing and Heating
  • Winkels Carpet Center, Inc.
  • K.L.N. Family Brands
  • Karkela, Hunt and Cheshire, PLLP
  • Centennial Realty
  • Lakes Area Cooperative
  • Dairyland Veterinary Service Ltd.
  • Lakes Café
  • Dr. Rachel Grieger, DDS.
  • Mark’s Fleet Supply Farmers
  • Merchants State Bank
  • Mark’s Home and More, Inc.
  • Farmers Union Insurance – Lisa Preuss
  • Nadine’s
  • Gibbs #10 Sales
  • New Horizons Realty Co. of Perham
  • Lake Country Home Care, LLC
  • Nyhus Family Sales
  • Mills Country Market
  • Overland Insurance Agency
  • New York Mills Public Schools #553
  • Perham Health and Perham Living
  • Tender Hearts Home Care
  • Photo Magic of Perham
  • Vaughn Auto and Marine Co.
  • Pine Shelter Veterinary Hospital

Community members can donate through an employee payroll deductions campaign in their workplace, text to donate by texting DONATE20 to 41444, online at , or by mail: United Way of Otter Tail and Wadena Counties, PO Box 304, Wadena, MN 56482.

For a full listing of programs and initiatives funded by United Way of Otter Tail Counties or to make a contribution to United Way to help improve lives, call the United Way office at 218.770- 9406 or visit

What To Read Next
Get Local