Second Annual Festival of Giving – Non-Profit Partners

Donations will be gratefully accepted to support the following organizations that do wonderful work to help alleviate suffering:

Buddhist Global Relief
Buddhist Global Relief provides assistance to people afflicted by poverty, natural disaster, and societal neglect with a special focus on providing food aid to those suffering from hunger and lack of food security.

Buddhist Global Relief projects are designed both to provide emergency food aid and to promote greater food productivity at the grass-roots level by partnering with organizations that are already operating on the ground in areas of interest. BGR seeks to promote food sovereignty rather than food dependency — to enable beneficiaries to develop food projects that they themselves can implement and manage for the benefit of their own communities. In sponsoring projects, BGR does not discriminate on the basis of nationality, ethnicity, gender, or religion

BGR also seeks to address the root causes of poverty and malnutrition. Since one of the most persistent of these roots in traditional cultures is the subordinate status of girls and women, BGR offers food aid to needy families as an incentive to keep their girls in school. BGR also sponsor training and right livelihood opportunities for adult women, enabling them to earn more for their families.

Local Contact: Patrice Koelsch, or 612-722-3813
International Contact: Carla Prater,

Dream of Wild Health
DWH is a 10-acre Native American organic farm that protects and grows heirloom indigenous foods while also training Native youth in leadership through hands-on apprenticeships and urban farm markets reaching underserved urban communities.

Dream of Wild Health is a 10-acre organic farm located in Hugo, Minn., that reconnects Native people with traditional foods and medicines. We operate three inter-connected programs:

Seed-Saving   Our collection of more than 300 varieties of indigenous seeds were gifted to us by Cora Baker, a Potawatomi elder and Keeper of the Seeds. Each season, we grow out several kinds of corn, squash, and beans in a traditional Three Sisters Garden.

Youth & Family   We help youth and families learn how to live healthy lives in balance with the lessons of the Medicine Wheel. Youth learn to grow, cook and sell vegetables at our Farmers Markets. Each summer we host tours, workshops, and community feasts.

Organic Farm   We raise organic vegetables for our Twin Cities Farmers Markets. Each week, we offer top-quality produce, from tomatoes and carrots to fresh herbs. We also make regular donations to food shelves and elders programs.

Contact: Diane Wilson,

St. Stephen’s Human Services
St. Stephen’s grew out of the St. Stephen’s church community.  Its mission is to end homelessness.  It offers a wide range of programs—from housing to a free store to a kids’ resiliency program for homeless pre-school aged children.

In the 1960s, members of St. Stephen’s Church began offering programs to assist people experiencing poverty and homelessness.  During the recession of the 1980s, homelessness increased in Minneapolis and St. Stephen’s, along with ten other local churches, responded by opening shelters, which were thought to be for a temporary crisis.  Most church-based shelters have since closed, but St. Stephen’s began creating programming to help people access permanent housing.  In 2002, the founding parish community determined that St. Stephen’s Human Services should obtain nonprofit status independent of the church.  Today, St. Stephen’s continues its mission to end homelessness by serving nearly 8,000 men, women and children annually through prevention, outreach, housing, shelter, employment programs, systems change, public education and more.

Contact: Michelle Perrin, 612-879-7627,

Seward Longfellow Restorative Justice Partnership
Focuses on offering neighborhood youth who have committed low-level offenses an opportunity to participate in our restorative justice program instead of going to court.

Seward Longfellow Restorative Justice Partnership was created by residents of Seward and Greater Longfellow in 2004 to build community by providing the opportunity to repair harm by involving the victim, offender, and community in solutions that promote healing, accountability, and reconciliation.

SLRJP provides restorative conferences for youth who have committed misdemeanor offenses, sponsors 3 teen discussion circles and hosts an adult discussion circle as a forum for building community and responding to neighborhood conflicts.

Contact: Michele Braley, 612-338-6205 x108,

Wellshare International
WellShare International improves the health of women, children, and their communities in east Africa and Minnesota.

WellShare International was founded as Minnesota International Health Volunteers in 1979 by physicians and social workers who were volunteering in refugee camps in Thailand.  Our mission is to improve the health of women, children, and their communities around the world.  In addition to Thailand, we have carried out Malaria, HIV/AIDS, and Maternal-Child Health programs in Nicaragua, Haiti, and Kenya.  WellShare currently offers family planning education and training in Uganda and Tanzania.

Since 2000, we have worked with Somalis and other refugee groups in Minnesota.  Here at home, our programs span the lifecycle, from family planning and early childhood, to helping elders navigate the American health care system.  We also work to improve the health of neighborhoods.  For instance, we are working to improve the selection of fruits and vegetables in corner stores in north Minneapolis.  At Riverside Plaza, home to over 4,000 low income people, we are implementing a smoke-free policy along with the management company and resident association.

Contact: Anne Maertz, 612-230-3253,

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