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Salem WEST and Bridges of Hope to increase collaboration in 2013

Bridges of Hope and Salem WEST, local nonprofit organizations, provide a spectrum of services for those facing hardship.

These services include resource and referral during a crisis, financial assistance, furniture and clothing donations, crisis childcare services, in-home case management and support to teen parents. Both organizations also operate thrift stores as a way to financially support the work done with families and individuals.

These similarities, as well as the unique skills of each organization, make it logical to work together to increase effectiveness and decrease duplication.

“Salem WEST has been doing this work for over 20 years and we’ve worked with Bridges for the last 10 years,” said Greg Meyer, Salem WEST executive director, in a news release. “By increasing the work we do together, each of our organizations can focus on what we do best.”

Meyer was referring to Salem WEST’s strong working relationship with Bridges of Hope. Jana Shogren, the executive director at Bridge of Hope, stated she is looking forward to the collaboration as well.

“We (Bridges and Salem) are serving a similar population in our community and we want to make a difference in the lives of kids and families, while also making good use of the funds that are entrusted to us,” Shogren said, referring to donations from individuals, businesses and churches, as well as grant funding from foundations and other resources.

This collaboration could prove to save money at both organizations by decreasing duplication, the organizations reported. Salem WEST and Bridges of Hope, with financial support from Bremer Bank, are working with Twin Cities-based MAP for Nonprofits to work out the details and sought funding for the project from the Initiative Foundation. Thrivent Financial will contribute $5,000 to the project once this dollar amount is matched by other sources.

To make a tax-deductible contribution to this collaboration and have the gift matched, log on to Bridges of Hope’s website at and click “donate now” or mail a check to Bridges of Hope, P.O. Box 742, Brainerd, MN, 56401 and designate “Thrivent Match” in the memo line.

Salem WEST is a ministry of Salem Lutheran Church in Deerwood and Bridges of Hope is a faith-based nonprofit organization located in Brainerd.

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
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