People Helping People
Some worthwhile organizations that really help people in Northern 
Minnesota, and make this a better place to live

We notice that sometimes people want to give away their money. We don't know why they do that, maybe it's because they have more than they need - so it just clutters up the place; or maybe they've become allergic to it, and it makes them itch.

Anyway, if one wants to give away some money, following is a list of some people who can use it, and who use their money to actually do good things for other people here.

A sensible way to give. We note that, per current tax laws, it is possible to give a remainder interest in real estate and take a current tax deduction for it. This is quite the deal. It means that the organization gets the property after the donor has left this earth, and presumably doesn't need it anymore, but the donor gets the tax break now. This not only gets property to the people who can do good things with it, but it also cuts the take of the government, which does things like give your money to billionaire Wall Street bankers and others who don't really need it. If this type of giving is of interest, one should insult with a good tax accountant, first, to make sure they do it right, with the intended effect.

Some of the worthwhile organizations:

1. Scenic River Health Services, Northome, Minn. (218-897-5222)
This is a clinic that low income people can go to for as little as $20 per visit (sliding fee scale is based on family size and annual income). Scenic Rivers can do this because they are a division of the nonprofit Cook Area Health Services, Inc. which is supported, in part, by a federal grant from the Bureau of Primary Health Care. For more info on this organization, see the article in NH of 10/26/09 at

2. People's Church, 824 America Ave., Bemidji, Minn. (218-444-8240)
This is an ELCA (Lutheran) church, run by Pastor Bob Kelly, that actually houses and feeds homeless people in Bemidji. As part of their mission, the church is equipped with bunks and a full kitchen, and turns no one away. They are trying now to expand their building, and also install a health services area which would be staffed by volunteer doctors and nurses. For more info on this organization, see the article in NH of 10/26/09 at

3. People In Business Who Care, Bigfork, Minn. (218-743-1200)
This worthwhile organization actually makes charitable grants to those who need them, sometimes in emergency situations, but who have "fallen through the cracks" in other programs. This organization has done some very good work for real people in need in Northern Minnesota. The Bigfork chapter of People In Business Who Care, which does its charitable work locally in the Northland, can be contacted through one of its major sponsors (and all around really good and benevolent people), The Berquist Company, Bigfork, at the number above.

4. Lakeland Public TV, 1500 Birchmont Dr. NE, Bemidji, Minn. (218-751-3407)
Ever turn on the TV at 2 in the morning? They used to show old movies and other entertainment, but nowadays, if it was left to some commercial broadcasters, there'd be nothing to watch but a stream of 30-minute commercials all night long. Whatever brings in the buck. Fortunately, here in the Northland, there's Lakeland, with it's 6 channels of quality programming all day and all night long, and no infomercials. They also provide daily unbiased news - actually the only local TV news for this area. And when election time comes, Lakeland Public TV provides clean and impartial forums with all of the candidates for all of the important local offices, so you know which crook you want to vote for. This takes a lot of time and costs a lot of money, and they don't recoup much of it; but for a free society, this service is invaluable. So, for those who have money to give away, this is another good place for it. There are even some nice perks, like, if one gives $66, they get a card good for 2-for-1s at a bunch of restaurants, both local and nationwide! Not too bad a deal. And maybe if enough people give, Lakeland can have fewer and shorter pledge drives that preempt important shows like Nova and Red Green.

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