H.O.P.E. Coalition receives $8,000 grant

Times Report
Crookston Times

    H.O.P.E. Coalition, a local organization focused on supporting and serving youth in the community, is the recipient of a special Community Builder grant from the Offutt Family Foundation and R.D. Offutt Company. The Community Builder Program is a unique initiative designed to support charitable organizations and nonprofits that RDO team members are passionate about and serve the greater good in their communities.  

    All RDO team members were invited to apply for this year’s Community Builder grants to support mental health nonprofits, specifically those addressing youth depression, anxiety and suicide prevention. This theme speaks to a need in the communities that has drastically and quietly been on the rise, especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

    R.D. Offutt Company matched the dollars from the Offutt Family Foundation, for a total grant of $8,000 awarded to H.O.P.E. Coalition. The team at RDO Equipment Co. in Ada nominated H.O.P.E. Coalition for the grant.  

    The H.O.P.E. Coalition’s primary goal is to bring awareness, education and resources to the entire northwest region in Minnesota to prevent suicide. According to Shannon Abrahamson, NW8 AMHI Coordinator and Suicide Prevention Initiative Lead, the Community Builder Grant is coming at the most opportune time, as so many are struggling right now, especially youth.

    “With everything finally starting to go back to ‘normal’ we will all need learn to adjust to what that ‘new normal’ looks like,” Abrahamson said. “This funding from the Offutt Family Foundation creates opportunities to reach our youth and educate them about mental health well-being, coping strategies and the resources available to them.”

    Kimberly Myers, Wellness Coordinator agreed, and said, “The pandemic heightened the need to continue to provide the education necessary for positive mental health and well-being and do our best to create more awareness and reduce the stigma associated with mental health and suicide prevention/ideation. Communities, youth, parents, school staff, everyone - we all need the right coping skills as they relate to overall mental health.”

    Anyone feeling hopeless, angry or confused, or who even just needs an ear to listen, is encouraged to call the NW8 Children's & Adult Crisis Support Line at 800-282-5005 or text "MN" to 741741.

    Altogether, 32 Community Builder grants were awarded across the RDO footprint, which includes RDO Equipment Co. and R.D. Offutt Farms, for a total of $324,000. Through the Community Builder program, the Offutt Family Foundation has awarded nearly $1.22 million in grants since the program began in 2015. The program builds on the spirit of community involvement embedded in RDO culture and embodied by team members.

Shauna Reitmeier, CEO of Northwestern Mental Health Center in Crookston, accepts the Community Builder Grant check for $8,000.