Telling Our Story
Women's Giving Circle
WE WANTED WOMEN TO FEEL THE POWER OF GIVING. “And to think it all began over a cup of coffee.” This is the tagline on the emails from Women’s Giving Circle (WGC) leaders Laura Stevens and Melanie VanRoekel, and it speaks to the power of a single conversation between two friends looking to make a difference in their community.
Donor Advised Fund
It’s not every day you drive by 135-foot-tall children. Unless you’re a Mankato resident, that is. The Ardent Mills grain silos in downtown Mankato, home to the newest of internationally-renowned artist Guido van Helten’s enormous original murals, feature the likenesses of elementary school students. This way-larger-than-life masterpiece is a celebration of Mankato’s past, present and future; it features local children and adults learning, playing and dancing at the Mahkato Mdewakanton Association Powwow.
A YEAR AGO, “PPE” MEANT NOTHING TO A LOT OF PEOPLE. Today, personal protective equipment (PPE) is required for all Minnesotans in public spaces, and every day tens of thousands of Mankato area residents don reusable face masks they received for free, thanks to the work of Priscilla Roos and Get Mankato PPE. “When the COVID-19 pandemic first hit the U.S., I was glued to the television, horrified, for two solid weeks. Finally, I said, ‘That’s enough. I need to do something.’ But I wasn’t sure where to start,” Roos said.
Special Projects & Programs
Nancy Zallek never anticipated her job would involve endless conversations about plumbing, flooring and electrical wiring. It wasn’t really in her job description, but that’s just what happens when you build and later expand upon a successful nonprofit center. “I now know more about HVAC than I ever cared to,” Zallek said, laughing. “But it’s all for a great cause.”