The Free Press, Mankato, MN

January 31, 2013

Red Cross gets $76,000 donation from Bremer Foundation

By Robb Murray
Free Press Staff Writer

MANKATO — The Otto Bremer Foundation has given $76,000 to the Mankato branch of the American Red Cross to help it purchase mobile response trailers and train volunteers.

Otto Bremer has given thousands to local charities and nonprofits, and this is just the latest.

“These trailers can be loaded up with equipment that we can station around the region,” said Bob Meyer, executive director of the Red Cross. “So when something happens we can be mobile and just hitch it up and take it wherever it needs to go.”

Meyer said they don’t have any mobile response trailers in Mankato or Owatonna.

“We have supplies here,” he said, “but we don’t have a good way to transport them.”

The trailers are similar to a construction trailer. They are 7 feet wide and 10-12 feet long.

Without the Bremer grant, Meyer said, they probably would not have been able to purchase the trailers.

“This is something that’s kind of been on a wish list for us,” Meyer said.

In addition to the trailers, the money will be spent on cots, blankets, feeding materials and training.

Meyer said the people at Bremer asked the Red Cross what needs it had that it couldn’t fill itself. He said Bremer’s approach of taking its profits and investing in nonprofit organizations is good for the community.

“It’s very ingenious in that respect. They’re really good local partners,” he said.

The Red Cross expects to have the Bremer funds by the end of the month.