Basin Electric supports efforts to bring awareness to homelessness

People standing outside in the cold holding signs to bring awareness to homelessness
Freezin' for a Reason in Bismarck, North Dakota, on Nov. 17. The high temperature the timeframe these volunteers were outside was 28 degrees Fahrenheit. Photo credit: Rachel Monge, Ministry on the Margins.

Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week is Nov. 13-21. Basin Electric delivered two checks this week to support organizations helping those those who face homelessness. With both the donations, Basin Electric Charitable Giving Administrator Jen Holen heard heartbreaking stories that had heartwarming endings.

Freezin' for a Reason is an annual event in which the community is invited to come together to draw attention to the issues surrounding hunger and homelessness in our region. A group from Ministry on the Margins, Missouri Valley Coalition for Homeless People, Inc., and the University of Mary stood outside from 7 a.m. - 7 p.m. to create awareness. Basin Electric supported the event at the $500 level. "During the event, they helped a woman who had no socks, hat, gloves, or boots. They brought her right into the donation trailer, had her sit and got her fixed up with warm winter gear," Holen says. "I was cold in just the few minutes I was visiting with the group and delivering the check, I can’t imagine what it would be like to be outside for hours without the proper winter gear."

Holen delivered Basin Electric’s Commitment to Community Campaign check to the Missouri Slope Areawide United Way as well. "United Way stepped up in a huge way when the emergency homeless shelter in Bismarck closed. Last night after the homeless shelter closed for the night, a gentleman working at a gas station put a post on social media asking if anyone could help guide him in the right direction because there was a 30-year-old male in the gas station asking him to call the cops because he stole a candy bar and would like to be arrested to be able to have somewhere warm to go for the evening," Holen says. "Jena Gullo from United Way commented on the post to have the police take him to the United Way Homeless Shelter and have the security guard call her cell phone for approval to allow someone to come in after curfew. Because of our employees' donations, a kind man working at a gas station, United Way, and local law enforcement, the 30-year-old man was able to stay warm last night."