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Tuesday | February 23, 2021





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Weekly and Monthly Events

Interfaith Volunteers expand services during COVID-19 crisis to bring comfort to residents
Interfaith Volunteers have been providing rides and building ramps for the elderly and disabled in the Brainerd Lakes Area for 20 years.

Due to the recent crisis, they are expanding services to offer phone calling to the lonely, homebound, and isolated who may be in need of social contact.

The volunteers are committed to helping people remain living safely and independently at home.

If you or someone you know are in need of their services, please call Interfaith Volunteers at 218 820-7454. The volunteers are ready and willing to help.

TLC Delivers
“Helping local businesses serve the local community through FREE doorstep delivery of meals, household essentials and medications during the pandemic.”

We have all been asked to "stay at home" yet we still need food, household items and medications. With that in mind the Crosslake Log Church has put together a team of volunteers who are willing to provide free delivery of meals, household essentials and medications from Crosslake area businesses and restaurants to area residents. How does it work?

Simply call a local participating business or restaurant stating you would like to place an order for delivery with “TLC Delivers.” . Place your order and make payment to the business or restaurant.
• Maucieri’s 218 692-4800
• Moonlite Bay 218 692-3575
• Andy’s 218 692-3722
• Grand Champion Meats 218 692-6328
• Crosslake Ace 218 692-1230
• Crosslake Drug 218 692-2502
• Valeri Ann’s Family Foods 218 454-3663

This list of participating businesses is subject to change. For updated information go to: www.crosslakelogchurch.org

The business/restaurant will contact “TLC Delivers” and the delivery will be setup and made to your doorstep (no face to face contact) sometime between 1-5pm Monday-Saturday.

If you want to leave a “tip” for the delivery person please place it in an envelope on your doorstep. All tips go to a benevolence fund to subsidize meals for families in need.

Crosslake Cares Announces Call-in COVID-19 Help Line
Do you have questions about the virus, have questions you can’t get answered? We are happy to announce the immediate availability of Crosslake Cares callin help line at 218-513-0131.

This call-in line is only for nonmedical and non-emergency use. Calls will be answered Monday through Friday from 1pm-5pm by a Crosslake Cares volunteer. You don’t need WiFi or internet computer capability -just pick up your phone and call us!

Given the coronavirus outbreak and the resulting actions taken by government officials and employers we have established a non-medical and nonemergency CALL-IN HELP LINE for all Crosslake Area Seniors and those who assist them.

The current environment is difficult for everyone but particularly so for our seniors who are largely staying at home with limited outside activities and social interactions.

We are focused on providing answers to non-medical and non-emergency questions by having you call in. Our Crosslake Cares volunteer team will answer your questions directly or refer you to a source that can answer your questions. During these difficult times it is important for everyone to pull together to support and build up our community.

Crosslake Library offers curbside pick-up
The Crosslake Area Library is now offering a curbside pick-up program for materials. Curbside drop-off will also be available.

Go to https://crosslakearealibrary.follettdestiny.com to access our catalog. This link is also available on the City website.

Request your order by email at clal@crosslake.net or by phone Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9:00-12:00 only at 218-692-7323. You will need the title or author, your name and library card number to request your material. There will be a limit of 5 items per card.

Curbside pick-up will be from 1:00-3:00 pm Monday, Wednesday, and Friday only. Please park in designated area, remain in your car and call 218-692-4271 for staff. You will need to show your library card to receive your materials. We are not accepting book sale donations at this time.

For more information please call the Library at 218-692-7323.

CRMC Care Center contacting residents
To offer more opportunities for communication between residents’ families and friends during this pandemic, Cuyuna Regional Medical Center’s Care Center is now offering alternative communication methods.

These include Skype, Facetime, Zoom Meetings, Facebook Messenger, House Party App and window visits.

For more information or to schedule a communication time, please contact the Activities Department at Mary.Dehning@cuyunamed.org or (218) 546-4353.

Free Online Mental Health Peer Support Groups for Individuals and Families
NAMI Minnesota (National Alliance on Mental Illness) sponsors a variety of online peer support groups for adults and young adults living with a mental illness, their families, friends, spouses/partners, as well as parents of children and teens. Led by trained peer facilitators the support groups help individuals and families learn coping skills and find strength through sharing their experiences. When joining an online group, please add only your first name. Also, the groups are specifically for those individuals suggested by the group’s title. For example, Family Support Group is only for family members and NAMI Connection is only for those who live with a mental illness and are over 18 years old, etc. Find a complete listing of group meetings and how to join in by going to namimn.org and clicking on “Support Groups” or go straight to https://namimn.org/support/namiminnesota-support-groups/.
Over the Hills Gang

The Over the Hills Gang ATV club meets the first Saturday of the month at Emily Log Cabin Bar at 10 a.m. Meetings are held February through October with no meetings in November, December or January.

All club events, ride schedule and training events can be found on the club’s website at www.overthehillsgang.org

The club is always seeking new members that want to promote safe and fun riding in the area.

Cuyuna Iron Range Riders
We are a family style ATV club located in the Crosby /Ironton area. We are dedicated to responsible riding for all ages, youth safety training and trail ambassadorship. We plan activities centered around riding in Minnesota’s great outdoors.

The Cuyuna Iron Range Riders club has been activity in the Cuyuna Range community since 2004. We volunteer our time to host youth safety training and trail ambassadorship. We are actively pursuing grant in aid trails in Crow Wing County. The club offers memberships to anyone interested in trail riding and exploring nature. For more information, go online to www.cuyunaironrangeriders.com or contact  club President Russ Heittola at 825-0441 or email heittola@brainerd.net and visit us on Facebook.

Crosslake Food Shelf
The Crosslake Food Shelf is open the first and third Fridays of each month from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.. It is located at 34212 County Highway 3 in Crosslake, MN. If you have any questions or need emergency assistance, you may call:
Doris Mezzenga 218-692-1004
Fred Walch 218-270-0646
Nancy Rudberg 218-692-2309

Monetary donations may be mailed to P.O. Box 253, Crosslake, MN 56442

Outing Library
The Outing Volunteer Library reopened on Monday, June 15th with the following regulations: limit of 5 people plus staff at one time. Everyone must wear a mask of their own. Because of the Corona Virus we WILL NOT be having story time.

Monday 10-12; Tuesday Closed
Wednesday 2-4; Thurs. Closed
Friday 9-11; Saturday 10-12

We strongly urge you to volunteer for 2 hours on 4 different days. The librarian will train you if you are a new volunteer. Call Carol Pierce or leave a message at 612-803-1569.

New from the Emily Public Library
As the Library is closed we have placed a small cart in the vestibule at City Hall for you to browse a small collection of books and more. Access to the vestibule is available Mon-Wed 8am-4:30pm, Thurs & Fri 8am to noon.

For specific requests, email library@emily.net. We are still offering “curbside” pickup within the vestibule. For more info go to www.cityofemily.com and click on the library tab.

Emily Food Shelf
The Emily Food Shelf located at 20948 County Road 1 in Emily is open the 3rd Tuesday of the month from 5:30 to 6:30pm and the following Wednesday from 9:30 to 11:00am.
Call the Emily Food Shelf at 218- 763-3663 for further information and emergency assistance.
Financial contributions s/b sent to our mailing address: PO BOX 93, EMILY MN 56447
We sincerely thank all of you who continue to support the food shelf and the local communities we serve: Emily, Fifty Lakes, Outing, Fairfield, Little Pine, Ross Lake, Perry Lake.

Care-n-Share pick-up meals
After suspending the free meal program in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 and restarting with a free pick-up meal program, 9451 free meals were provided in 2020. We miss the in-house sit-down meals and socializing but free meals are still available for pick-up.

Call 952-240-3936 to reserve your meals which can be picked up between 1:00 and 2:30 PM at Emily Wesleyan church on Wednesdays.
Crosslake Ideal Lion's Club Update
Crosslake Ideal Lion’s Club continues to meet via ZOOM but is hoping to begin live meetings in March. Location is to be determined. The pandemic has hindered many of our service activities including the St. Patrick’s Parade. We are hopeful we will still be able to participate in the Easter parade. Stay tuned for future events!

We are also saddened by the recent loss of one of our beloved members, Susan Reller. Susan had been a Lion’s member since 2003 and was actively involved with most service activities. She will be missed by all. Condolences and prayers go out to her husband Gordan, also an active Lion’s Member.

If you are interested in becoming active and contributing to the Crosslake Ideal community, please feel free to contact blhansen68@gmail.com.

Laker Lions News
Mobility Equipment available for use
The Emily, Outing, 50 Lakes Lions has mobility equipment for you to use. These articles include: Wheel Chairs, Walkers, Crutches, etc. Please contact Larry @ 218-763-5022 or Kathy @ 218-821-4668. Please call us—We are here to serve our communities.

Lakers Lions accepting recycled item donations
The Emily, Outing, 50 Lakes Lions are collecting used eye glasses to be recycled for foreign mission projects, used hearing aids to be recycled for our Hearing Foundation Projects, used cell phones to go to battered woman’s shelters, and used ink cartridges to be recycled for Pediatric cancer patients. If you have any of these items you would like to donate to the cause, please deposit these items in our donation boxes at these locations: Outing—Village Inn and Outing Station. Emily—Pine River State Bank, Ace Hardware, Kut & Kurl, Granny’s Bar and Grill, and the Emily Wesleyan Church

We and you Serve!!

Donate your used eyeglasses
Crosslake Ideal Lions are collecting used eyeglasses to donate to the visually impaired. Drop off sites are located at Crosslake Drug, Crosslake Community Center, Black Ridge Bank, First National Bank, Crosslake Clinic, Reeds,and Crosslake Lutheran Church.

Pine River-Backus Free Community Meals
The Free Weekly Community Meals initiative in the Pine River and Backus communities began on April 22, 2019. The overarching goal is to connect families with weekly access to restaurant quality food, prepared by area Chefs, and be a catalyst to continue building the solid network of support within our community.

Free Weekly CommUnity Meals are provided every Monday, 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm, at the Riverside Church, located at 310 Norway Ave, in Pine River, and every Tuesday, 5:00-6:00 pm, at the Pine Mountaineer Senior Citizens Club, located at 131 Front Street North, in Backus.

These healthy meals are Chef prepared and open to the public. If you are interested in providing a monetary donation to support the CommUnity Meals they may either be mailed to: CommUnity Meals, P.O. Box 1, Pine River, MN or dropped off in person at the Pine River-Backus Family Center, located at 245 Barclay Avenue, Pine River. Your support and financial contributions to this valuable community resource are both respected and deeply appreciated.

Mask donations needed at CRMC
As the national pandemic continues, Cuyuna Regional Medical Center is again calling on community members for donations of hand-sewn cloth face masks to protect its patients and visitors.

Masks may be safely donated Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. until 6 p.m. at CRMC’s main entrance screening station.

For answers to any donation questions or an alternative time to make a donation, please contact Jennifer Podsiadly at Jennifer.podsiadly@cuyunamed.org or 218-545-4455.

Thursdays: AA Zoom Meeting Thursday Nights
Those with a desire to stop drinking are invited to attend the Crosslake Thursday Night’s AA Online Meeting on Zoom. The meetings are one hour long and take place every Thursday night at 7 p.m. Please call the Immaculate Heart Church at 218-692-3731 to be put in touch with a person who can give you more information about how to log on.

Helping Employees Live in a Pandemic

NAMI Minnesota (National Alliance on Mental Illness) has developed an online mental health program for employers to offer their employees to help them manage their stress, coping skills and resiliency during this unprecedented time. The new program is called HELP – Helping Employees Live in a Pandemic.

COVID-19 has increased stress levels due to the uncertainty about the future, being alone or being together too much, caring for children or other family members, working from home or being an essential worker, and it has caused grief from cancellation of major life events. In response to the mental health needs of Minnesotans, NAMI Minnesota’s new program – HELP – was developed to address these issues and promote good mental health and coping skills.

“For employers, taking a practical step like providing the HELP program sends a powerful message to employees that mental health is an important part of overall health and performance. It acknowledges their struggles and supports their wellbeing,”

said Sue Abderholden, executive director of NAMI Minnesota. HELP program classes include: Minding Your Mental Health During COVID-19, Keeping in Touch: Staying Connected During COVID-19, Coping with Kids, Self-Care and Mindfulness, Physical Activity, Nutrition, Positive Psychology, and Question, Persuade and Refer, which teaches the 3 steps anyone can take to help prevent a suicide.

All classes are 1 hour in length. Employers can choose one or all of the classes to be offered through Zoom or another online platform. A recent class participant remarked, “The speaker did a great job. I found the format for sharing to be grounding and inspirational.”

NAMI Minnesota appreciates, but does not require, an honorarium for delivering the classes. For information or to schedule a class, contact NAMI Minnesota at namihelps@namimn.org.

Training on Self-Care for Senior Workers During COVID-19

NAMI Minnesota (National Alliance on Mental Illness) in collaboration with McCubbin Training and LeadingAge Minnesota has created a free, online training on Self-Care for Senior Workers During COVID-19. The training helps caregivers develop personal strategies for managing stress and practicing self-care as they continue to provide care for others.

The training, which includes a salute from Gov. Walz, is targeted for caregivers of older adults living in care centers, assisted living, their own home and adult foster care settings. It is about 20 minutes long and can be viewed on a smartphone, tablet or desktop computer. To access the training go to namimn.org and see “Self-Care Training for Senior Workers.” For more information, call 651-645-2948.

Crosslake Ideal Lions Seek Donations

One of the missions of Lions, worldwide, is in the collection of eyeglasses and hearing aids. If you have any glasses you no longer use, please drop them off at one of our sites where we have collection boxes. The locations are as follows: Crosslake Drug Store, Crosslake Clinic, Crosslake Community Center, Blackridge Bank, First National Bank, and Crosslake Lutheran Church. Your help is greatly appreciated. Thanks!

CRMC seeks patient input
Cuyuna Regional Medical Center is seeking area individuals to join its advisory council to provide staff with constructive advice to improve the experience of its patients.

CRMC is committed to partnering with patients and families to assist with creating a  patient-centered approach to the care delivered every day. The organization recognizes that to best serve the patients and families in the community, it is important for CRMC to include patients and families in decision making.

Those who are interested may contact Stephanie Nelson for details at 218-546-2354 or Stephanie.Nelson@cuyunamed.org.

COVID-19 Vaccine Registration for Homebound Residents

COVID-19 vaccine pre-registration is now available for Crow Wing County HOMEBOUND residents age 65+. The opportunity to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in your own home is for residents you are unable to travel to primary care providers or have difficulty in getting to a medical provider. If able, our public health team recommends you see your primary care provider for a vaccine. Homebound vaccinations may take longer to get, as the availability of vaccinations are limited.

“We ask the community reserve this option for those truly homebound and in need. Having a list of individuals we will need to go and visit will be crucial when we have access to more vaccines. Every step we take in this planning process will help us move forward faster with vaccine distribution.” said Public Health Supervisor Michelle Moritz.

Register on-line: https://www.crowwing.us/
• The registration form can be accessed by clicking on Register Now as it appears above.

Register by phone: 218-824-1289
• Please be ready to provide your name, date of birth, address, phone and email if you have one.

Information will be confidential and will assist our Crow Wing County Public Health team to reach homebound residents quicker when vaccines become available.

If you have already received your first dose, please do not register.

Crow Wing County Public Health continues to follow the priority guidance by the CDC and MDH. #CrowWingCounty https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx

COVID questions – Please call 218-824-1170 or email Covid.vaccine@crowwing.us

Tuesdays and Thursdays in April, July and October: Lifesaving classes at CRMC
An array of classes to help individuals be prepared for a lifesaving emergency including the American Heart Association’s Heartsaver CPR/AED and First Aid course are now being offered for the public at Cuyuna Regional Medical Center.

Heart disease continues to be one of the greatest health threats to Americans and is still the leading cause of death worldwide, according to the American Heart Association’s Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics – 2021 Update.

The AHA states that almost 70 percent of cardiac arrests occur at home and only 45 percent of cardiac arrest victims receive CPR from bystanders. CRMC is proud to be an American Heart Association Training Center aiding in their mission to save lives and envision a world where no one dies from cardiac arrest.

The Heartsaver CPR/AED & First Aid class, which is designed for anyone with little or no medical training, is being offered at CRMC in Crosby from 4 to 8 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays in April, July and October. In the course, participants learn how to provide first aid and CPR and use an automated external defibrillator in a safe, timely and effective manner. The fee is $50 for each course or $80 for both CPR and First Aid. To register, send a message to  jodi.bedard@cuyunamed.org or call 218-546-4367.

For those unable to attend one of the scheduled classes, CRMC also offers other formats for both individuals or groups to become certified in

Join in NAMI Minnesota's Free Online Mental Health Classes
NAMI Minnesota (National Alliance on Mental Illness) has set up a wide variety of free online mental health classes for February and March. They include classes such as Eating Disorders, Hope for Recovery, Transitions, Ending the Silence, Understanding Early Episode Psychosis for Families, In Our Own Voice, Family to Family, Creating Caring Communities, a suicide prevention class called QPR – Question, Persuade and Refer, a special QPR class for Agricultural Communities and many more.

The classes are designed for family members and caregivers, persons living with a mental illness, service providers, and also the general public. Find a complete listing of these classes and how to join in by going to namimn.org and clicking on “Classes” or go straight to https://namimn.org/educationpublic-awareness/classes/scheduled/ .

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February Events 

Feburary 25: Department of Administration to host Equity Procurement Summit
The Department of Administration’s Office of Equity in Procurement (OEP) and the Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) are offering a oneday webinar event in celebration of Black History Month positioning Black owned businesses for success in Government Contracting.

This free event, “Positioning Black Owned Businesses for Success in Government Contracting,” will take place on Thursday, February 25, 2021 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Topics throughout the day include an overview of the state’s contracting with Black owned businesses, a presentation on doing business with the state, and a live demonstration of technology used by the state for  registering as a potential provider of goods and/or services, locating and responding to opportunities, and applying for certification in the state’s Small Business Procurement Program.

Resources offered by numerous community partners will be highlighted, including: the Activate Network; Black Women’s Wealth Alliance; Fearless Commerce; MEDA; Minnesota Minority Goods & Services Association; NEON; North Central Minority Supplier Development Council; the Small Business Development Center; Tim Connelly Law PLLC; and the Veterans Business Outreach Center.

After the event, staff from the OEP and PTAC teams, as well as from some of our invited resource partners, will be available to answer questions and provide additional information on our programs.

Equity Summit: Positioning Black Owned Businesses for Success in Government Contracting (https://mngov.ecenterdirect.com/events/1546)

Through February 28: 2021 Tree Sale Open House going virtual

The Crow Wing Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) will be hosting an online tree sale open house on January 27th from 11am-2pm. You can find the event link on the SWCD website or type this URL on your web browser: https://uso2web.zoom.us/j/87163276420

The open house will consist of presentations on native shoreline restorations, goat grazing on invasive buckthorn, and private forest management tips. Also, there will be breakout sessions where you can ask questions about the tree sale and other SWCD programs. Discounts will be available to participants at the open house. ($10 off on tree sale orders over $100)

According to Melissa Barrick, District Manager, “The SWCD goal is to reach a million trees for Crow Wing County and beyond. The SWCD also created brand-new shop page with pictures and diagrams. This page is super easy to use. To order your trees, plants, shrubs for your property visit cwswcd.org the click on the shop tab. The deadline to order is February 28, 2021"

The trees and plants will be available for pickup:

Dates: Thursday, May 6: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Friday, May 7: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Location: Crow Wing County Fairgrounds, Curling Building Address: 13 street/CR 45 Brainerd, MN

If you have any questions about the tree sale open house, please call 218-828-6197 or email adam@cwswcd.org

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March Events

Through March 1: Land & Waters Preservation Trust Announces Grant Fund Opportunity for 2021
Land & Waters Preservation Trust Endowment will be awarding $20,00 in grants to worthy projects in April 2021. Land & Waters, administered by the Initiative Foundation, is a joint endowment of Whitefish Area Property Owners Association (WAPOA) and the Pine River Watershed Alliance (PRWA).

The Grant Application submission period is December 1, 2020 through March 1, 2021.

Further information may be requested by Land and Waters with a deadline of March 15, 2021. Grants will be made on April 1, 2021 and projects should be completed in 2021. Project grants will be made for proposals from 501(c)(3) organizations that fit one or more of the following priorities:

• Enhance and protect surface and aquifer water quality in the Pine River Watershed

• Support sustainable riparian land management practices

• Protect habitat for native plants and animals

Applicants may be lake associations, local units of government, or environmental groups. Projects proposed by the two parent organizations, WAPOA and PRWA, will also be considered.

To apply, go to the Pine River Watershed Alliance website (www.prwa.us), click “Resources & Links” to get grant guidelines and application. If there are questions regarding the grant process or application, contact Ron Meyer at rnsmeyer@tds.net.

Land & Waters Preservation Trust was created by Whitefish Area Property Owners Association (WAPOA) and the Pine River Watershed Alliance (PRWA) and is a Turn Key Fund of the Initiative Foundation. Land & Waters Preservation Trust is a grant making endowment fund directed to preserving and protecting the water quality in the Pine River Watershed. More information is available from WAPOA, PRWA, or the Initiative Foundation.

March 4: Parkinson’s Disease Support Group Meeting via Zoom
The Brainerd Lakes Area Parkinson’s Disease Support Group will meet virtually via Zoom on Thursday, March 4, at 1:00pm. A therapist will present on depression and anxiety. If you are not already on the email list or have a question, call 218-829-4017.

March 9: Emily Loon Crafters Quilt Guild
Due to concerns of the Coronavirus, the Emily Loon Crafters Quilt Guild regular monthly meeting scheduled for Tuesday, March 9 has been cancelled.

March 11: Virtual Mental Health Day on the Hill

The Mental Health Legislative Network will hold its annual Mental Health Day on the Hill online this year on Thursday, March 11. Hundreds of people from around the state are expected to join in the event and share their views on mental health issues with legislators.

The Network is composed of nearly 40 statewide organizations concerned about the quality and availability of mental health services. The Network is co-chaired by NAMI Minnesota (National Alliance on Mental Illness) and Mental Health Minnesota.

Mental Health Day on the Hill will kick-off with messages from legislators, as well as an overview of current mental health policy and funding issues from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. Online appointments with legislators will follow throughout the day for mental health advocates to discuss their views on critical mental health needs for the 2021 legislative session.

Members of the Network have already scheduled over 30 Zoom meetings with legislators, with many more expected. Attendees will be matched up with the legislators and other advocates from their district for an online discussion of mental health concerns.

Network members are working to meet with as many legislators as possible on March 11, so please sign up by going to www.namimn.org and clicking on Mental Health Day on the Hill. For more information, contact Sam Smith at ssmith@namimn.org.

NAMI Minnesota is a non-profit organization that works to improve the lives of children and adults with mental illnesses and their families through its programs of education, support and advocacy.

March 22: $1 million in grants available to communities to address emerald ash borer
Communities working to manage and reduce the impacts of emerald ash borer across Minnesota can apply for $1 million in shade tree program grants through the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. The application period is open through Monday, March 22.

All Minnesota cities, counties, and townships, as well as park and recreation boards in cities with more than 100,000 residents, are eligible to apply. Grant-eligible activities include removing ash trees and replanting new trees on public land to establish more diverse and resilient shade tree cover.

Priority will be given to projects to remove and replace ash trees, especially those posing a serious public safety concern, in areas with a known emerald ash borer infestation. Priority will also be given to projects that benefit underserved populations and advance environmental justice.

“Minnesota’s local governments play a key role in creating climate-adapted, diverse community forests that are better able to withstand disease and forest pests,” said Emma Schultz, community forest project specialist. “The DNR is pleased to offer this grant opportunity to assist local governments in this important effort."

Schultz also noted the importance of ensuring underserved communities share in the benefits that community forests provide – from access to open space, recreational opportunities, and greater protection of air and water quality.

Shade Tree Program Grant Details:
• Application procedures, including the Request for Applications and application form, are available online.

• Applicants will be notified by Monday, April 12 as to whether or not they have been awarded a grant.

• For more information, contact the DNR Community Forestry Grants Team at ucf.dnr@state.mn.us.

April 10: Impact Grant Application Open Up to $12,000

Crow Wing Power Community Trust (Operation Round-Up) is seeking applications for their annual Impact Grant. The grant historically has been given to worthy applicants in amounts up to $12,000. The purpose of the Impact Grant will be to give a boost to a unique project/program, organization or community to insure its success. The deadline to submit an application is April 10.

Applicants must show that this one time grant would have a major impact for their project, organization or community. The organization needs to show that they have a history of success, or if a start-up project, the business plan must be strong and show large community support. Projects that focus on human health and well-being will be given additional consideration.

Operation Round-Up is funded by participating members of Crow Wing Power who allow the cooperative to round up their electric bills to the nearest whole dollar. The additional change is pooled and distributed quarterly to local community programs. To qualify for an application, contact Char Kinzer at Crow Wing Power, 218-829-2827 or 1-800-648-9401.

May 31: Energy Assistance Program can help Minnesotans keep your homes warm.

With winter’s coldest temperatures arriving, the Minnesota Department of Commerce reminds Minnesotans to apply to the state’s Energy Assistance Program for help paying their heating bills.

For those who have not already applied for help this heating season, there is still time. Households with young children, people with disabilities, veterans, seniors and those experiencing unemployment or financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic are especially encouraged to apply. Both renters and homeowners can qualify to get energy assistance.

“We are concerned more Minnesotans than ever are having difficulty paying heating bills because of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Commerce Department Temporary Commissioner Grace Arnold. “Last year, we granted an average of $500 to eligible households to help with heating bills.”

Stimulus payments from the Federal Government and pandemic- related unemployment insurance payments are not counted as income when determining if a household is eligible for energy  assistance.

The Energy Assistance Program serves households that earn less than $54,357 for a household of four or $28,266 for a household of one. It helps income-qualifying homeowners and renters with heating bills through grant money paid directly to utility companies or heating fuel vendors. The program can also help households pay past due bills, get reconnected or prevent energy disconnection, get delivered fuel, learn about energy efficiency and safety, and repair or replace homeowners’ broken heating systems.

In November 2020, Minnesota received more than $106 million in federal Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) funds for this year’s Energy Assistance Program.

Average annual grant is about $500
Last year the Energy Assistance Program served nearly 118,000 Minnesota households, with an average grant of about $500. These households included nearly 57,000 seniors, almost 35,000 young children, more than 57,000 people with disabilities and roughly 7,500 veterans

How to apply for Energy Assistance
New applicants have until May 31, 2021 to apply, however funding is limited and administered on a first-come, first-served basis. The Minnesota Commerce Department administers the program in partnership with 29 local service providers throughout the state. Local service providers are situated across Minnesota and cover every corner of the state.

Households apply for assistance with the local service provider in their area. Call 800-657-3710, and press 1, or visit the Commerce Department’s Energy Assistance Program webpage.

With You Every Day
Wherever you are in Minnesota, the Department of Commerce is with you every day. Whether you’re filling up on gas, purchasing a home, working to reduce energy consumption or rebuilding after a disaster—we are with you, no matter what.

The Minnesota Department of Commerce oversees more than 20 regulated industries, ensuring that Minnesota businesses are strong and Minnesota consumers are protected. Our mission is to protect the public interest, advocate for Minnesota consumers, ensure a strong, competitive and fair marketplace, strengthen the state’s economic future and serve as a trusted public resource for consumers and businesses. Learn more at mn.gov/commerce

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P.O. Box 145, Outing, MN 56662 • Phone 218-792-5842 • Fax 218-792-5844 • Email news@northlandpress.com