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Five Sisters Project starts online campaign

The Five Sisters Project started four years ago with a dream to offer help, healing and hope to women and families in crisis, according to a press release. By building a network of community relationships, meeting client needs, providing education and information, and coordinating a team of volunteers, the Five Sisters Project has been able to provide the resources its clients need like furniture, cleaning supplies, small appliances, clothing, transportation and toys, as well as referrals for counseling, housing, health care, job placement and legal advice.

“We believe that meeting physical needs is an amazing way to develop an opportunity to help our clients find their way through difficult circumstances, grow and become all they were designed to be,” said Tracy Muhlenbeck, Five Sisters Project founder and director.

The group of volunteers serves southern Minnesota but has also had opportunities to partner with sex trafficking rescue and homelessness organizations from around the United States.

“One of the things we learned early on is that temporary, emergency housing is a critical need in our area,” Muhlenbeck said. “Our clients need a safe place to land and make plans and we are closing in on completion of remodeling a space to provide temporary, safe housing for women and their children, but we cannot do it alone. All of this takes time and money. Our greatest current need is to complete and fund the operation of our temporary emergency housing.”

It has been a difficult time for everyone and an exceptionally challenging time for the women and families the Five Sisters Project serves who might have an unhealthy or unsafe home environment, so the need is greater than ever, the release stated.

Like most nonprofits, the Five Sisters Project has faced a huge hurdle this past year, according to the press release. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, public gatherings have been limited and organizations like the Five Sisters Project have been pressed to find creative solutions to raise revenue to do their work. It has been over a year since the Five Sisters Project has been able to host a fundraiser event. As a part of this year’s creative campaign, “The 40 Days of Giving,” its goal was to provide hope for everyone by hosting a Christmas experience called A Festival of Trees while fundraising to continue its work to provide temporary, emergency housing. The event had to be canceled due to the recent executive order banning all indoor and outdoor gatherings.

“It’s really important to us to be responsible and work to keep everyone safe,” Muhlenbeck said. “But the reality is that we need funding in order to continue our work.”

Five Sisters Project’s 40 Days of Giving Facebook campaign began Nov. 22. During the 40 days, all kinds of information will be shared about the beginning of the organization, the progress made during the last four years and the goals for the future. It will be an opportunity for people to learn about ways they can make a difference by supporting the organization, the release stated.

“We know we live in an amazing and generous community and we know we can count on folks to come through during this difficult time,” Muhlenbeck said.

Information about the Five Sisters Project can be found on Facebook or at www.fivesistersproject.com.

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