Bemidji Young Professionals Network Gives Back to Local Non-Profits
Every year, the Young Professionals Network donates $250 each to two non-profit organizations that are also Bemidji Chamber members at their annual Give Back Luncheon. Northwoods Battered Women’s Shelter and the Headwaters Science Center were the two non-profit organizations that were gifted the generous donations this year.
“YPN is a non-profit organization so any of the money that we get from our fundraisers and from our memberships, we want to give back to our members and to the community,” said Lauren Flier, Young Professionals Network Vice Chair. “So every year one of the things we do is a give back luncheon where we ask our members to vote from a list of non-profit Chamber members in Bemidji and they get to pick two and the top two with the most votes, we give each of those organizations $250 so that we can be giving back to the community.”
The YPN organization is a branch of the Chamber that allows young professionals around the age of 21 to 40 a way to come together to network, meet other professionals as well as other organizations, build professional development and more.
“My hope is that they are able to inform young professionals in the community about their organizations but also to see that there are young professionals in the community that are taking an interest in their organization to and see that they have the support from the chamber and the community,” said Flier.
The Northwoods Battered Women’s Shelter provides shelter to survivors of intimate partner violence as well as advocacy services and is planning on building a new facility that will accommodate more people needing their services.
“We have a tremendous amount of need in our community and as a non-profit, like every other non-profit, resources are limited, and so it’s just any support that we get is amazing and it gives us a opportunity to talk about what it is that we do,” explained Andrea Kingbird, Northwoods Battered Women’s Shelters Executive Director.
The Headwaters Science Center has been around for 25 years and offers a science museum experience as well as traveling to different organizations to provide demo presentations.
“The most important part is to know you’re supported, that was very significant today, and to know that the members voted to support and to know that the members voted to support, and so that’s a strong word of encouragement,” said Lee Furuseth, Headwaters Science Center Executive Director.
Being able to gift the two organizations with donations is only a small gesture of what the Young Professionals Network does for its members. This ensures that not only are they engaging in personal and professional growth, they are also giving back to the community in which they both serve and live in.