Non-profit launches ‘Pennies for People’

Great River Area Faith in Action launched “Pennies for People,”  a campaign to raise $20,000 to meet a growing need for help to people in the community.

Approximately 200 jars with the “Pennies for People” label are being placed in businesses and churches throughout Sherburne, Wright and Stearns counties.

Executive Director Denice Freih hopes it will entice people of all ages to pitch their extra change into the jars for those less fortunate.

The money collected will go toward helping seniors, families in crisis, the disabled and people stuck at the poverty level.

Faith in Action staffer Emily Squires points out that if everyone in Sherburne County alone gave just 29 cents, the target goal would be met.

A growing demographic of needy people have inundated Faith in Action with calls for help. Hundreds of calls, in fact, come into the non-profit every month — folks seeking help with basic needs like housing, food and help with transportation.

“The economic downturn is still profoundly affecting our community,” Freih says. “People are still hurting from lost jobs, home foreclosures and lost business.”

Seniors with investments have been hit particularly hard by the bad economy, Freih adds. Retirement savings have dwindled sharply, and other resources such as family members’ financial contributions have shriveled as well.

“We know that times are hard for everybody,” Freih admits, “but if everybody pitches in with the 75 cents they have in their pocket, we can use that to make a huge change in the community.”

The funding drive lasts through July 4.

“We have never seen this kind of need before,” Freih says. “If everyone can just give a little, it will help a lot.”

For those who would like to help others in their community by giving a larger donation, call Faith in Action at 763-263-4277 or send a check to Faith in Action at 13074 Edgewood St., Becker, Minn. 55308.

Donations can also be made online at


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