Eden Lake, Paynesville begin charity drives

This article submitted by Molly H. Connors on 10/1/96.

Both the Paynesville Area Charity Fund Drive and the Eden Lake United Charity Drive began this week.

Both drives have a common goal. They want to do all the collecting one time each year and avoid many charity drives for different causes.

Eden Lake's goal for this year is $4,000. Paynesville's (this drive includes the city of Paynesville and Paynesville Township) goal is $27,500.

The Paynesville area drive sends out letters to every address in the city and township. Residents get return envelopes and a choice of where their funds will go. They can also designate general fund, said Don Torbenson, who is on the fund's board of directors.

He discourages this, however, because the money is divided by where people want it to go. For instance, if everyone marks the scouting programs, then the most money will go there.

The Paynesville area drive also has payroll deductions at the hospital, UPS and at the school system. PArticipants indicate how much they want to deduct and their donations are taken out in 18 or 22 equal installments, Torbenson said.

The Eden Lake drive goes door-to-door. There are approximately 17 solicitors, secretary Tess Thielen said. In this drive, solicitors stay in their own neighborhood and collect from their neighbors. The Eden Lake drive ends in the last week of October.

Donations to the Eden Lake drive benefit the American Cancer Society, the American Red Cross, the Willmar State Hospital, the Courage Center, the salvation Army, the Eden Valley Rescue Squad, the Eden Lake Emergency Fund and the Eden Valley Food Shelf.

The emergency fund helps township residents through disasters and hardships, such as fires,Thielen said. If a family's breadwinner is injured and no longer able to work, the board determines the family's need and helps them out.

The Paynesville area's fund drive will accept contributions through 1996. The Paynesville Area Charity Fund has a board of directors, who are all volunteers, Torbenson said. They decided not to affiliate with the United Way because 12 percent of United Way donations are used in administrative costs. The Paynesville fund uses less than two percent of its donations. These costs come from the mail solicitations, he said.

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