Charity Committee

The Charity Committee hosts events and reviews employee donation match requests. Read about our guidelines for charitable matching.
We are always open to new ideas and committee members. If you are involved with a charity and need more people to join your team, reach our to the charity committee for assistance. Or if you are interested in helping the charity committee or have ideas for ways we can give back, please submit a form here.

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Committee Members
Brandon Boelter
Brandon Boelter
Waite Park
Mady Sheets
Mady Sheets
Eden Prairie
Cal  Simmons
Cal Simmons
Eden Prairie
Amanda Vagle
Amanda Vagle
Alicia Williams
Alicia Williams
Eden Prairie

MLK Jr Day of Service Highlights

January 26, 2024

A huge thank you to everyone who participated in the 3rd annual MLK Jr. Day of Service. On that day, 118 individuals dedicated their time to serving, and we are grateful for the 74 participants who took the time to complete the post-event survey. The feedback received indicates that we indeed made a positive impact on our community. Today, we will release a video and social media post summarizing our community contributions.

Additionally, we're excited to announce the winners of our CG Connect photo sharing contest. Congratulations to Heather Joerg, Jenn Wendorff, Christine Andrews, Kelli Kaup, and Molly Bell. Each of you will be rewarded with a $20 CG Store credit.

Your valuable feedback from the post-event survey has provided insights into the charities you support and the ways you prefer to give back. We are inspired by your responses and will incorporate your ideas and suggestions into our future plans for MLK Jr Day and other charitable endeavors. We are sharing the survey results on "What impact did you make on the community today?" below because the outcomes are too significant not to be shared.

What impact did you make on the community today?

  • Packed 80 snack bags for The Open-Door Pantry in Eagan.
  • My 5-year-old daughter and I made 10 greeting cards for recipients of Meals on Wheels via the Greater Twin Cities United Way.
  • My friend and I brought old towels, blankets, dog, and cat food to the local SPCA / Humane society. In addition, last week I donated scarves that I knitted to Street Warriors, a group that provides clothes, food, and assistance to the homeless.
  • 33,000 meals packed - feeds 90 children for a year.
  • A group of us were able to make ~4-6 blankets for those in the community to stay warm in the winter months.
  • We packed 153 Boxes of food which is 33,048 meals.
  • Helped pack 153 boxes which feeds 90 kids for a year!
  • Put together 80 snack packs for school kids for The Open Door (Eagan, MN).
  • The bags packed for the INDY foundation will hopefully give a little light during a difficult time.
  • Made blankets to donate to the Monticello Cancer Center.
  • Our family packed boxes of food for families. We spent time at the Monticello Help Center for two hours, with the Craigs, and packed many boxes for our local community.
  • Our family purchased and packed 80 lunch packs for kids in need in our local community.
  • My wife and I also made 2 tie blankets to be donated.
  • We donated tie blankets to Ivy House in New Ulm. Ivy House is a 24/7 crisis nursery that provides care to children whose families are in crisis or stressful situations. Kids will be able to use the blankets during their stay or bring them home once they leave. We were able to tour of the home and learn more about the program. They shared some great information and amazing stories. We felt very fortunate to be able to help such an impactful organization.
  • Made two tie blankets.
  • We packed over 100 boxes of food for local families at the Monticello Help Center
  • The entire shift produced 153 boxes of meals. I believe it was enough for 90 children for the year.
  • Not our local community, but at the Coon Rapids FMSC location meals packed will feed 90 children one meal a day for one year.
  • I provided 3 warm blankets to those in need.
  • Packing bags for children battling cancer really got me today. Packing these bags is the least I can do to help a young child get through the worst days.
  • Packed 1000 Cancer Warrior bags to help children as they go thru their cancer battle.
  • We participated in 3 projects. 1) Made over 50 meals for homeless youth through TheLink MN. 2) Created 30 hygiene kits to be donated to the homeless and mobility unit of Minneapolis Schools and 3) tie blanket for CG
  • We made Valentine cards with candy gift bags for 20 isolated seniors in the community. These will be delivered to ACCAP (Anoka County Community Action Program) to handout to the isolated seniors enrolled in their kinship program.
  • I feel like my personal impact was minimal, and I wish that I could have done more! With this being my first year for the day of service, I wasn't quite sure what to expect.
  • Worked on projects for our school.
  • It felt good to know we helped starving children. They show videos of our impact and tell you which country you are helping that day. It is a very good feeling!
  • We fed 90 Kids for a year!
  • I'm hopeful that our blankets provide comfort either to a child in need or an adult that is going through a tough time (such as a tough medical diagnosis) or needing to find source of warmth.
  • Worked with an Assistance Dog in-training. Someone will be able to be helped in the future by the work of Can-Do Canines and their volunteers.
  • Anything that is volunteered is making someone's heart smile.
  • I made 1 Tie Blanket
  • I donated handmade fleece blankets, food, and supplies to the Animal Rescue League of Iowa.
  • Our table packed 24 boxes and the entire facility packed 156 boxes.
  • I would like to think that making laundry pod bags and shopping for needed items at the food shelf will help people in need. We also gathered several bags of dog and cat food to donate to the pet food shelf.
  • We packed 33,048 meals in our short time at FMSC!! This will feed 90 children for a year! It's a HUGE impact on a lot of lives. It is an incredible feeling to know that we are helping so many starving people around the world. The crazy part is.... we only gave up about 2 hours of our own time to make such a meaningful impact.
  • Made greeting cards for hospitalized children.
  • We made meals for Haiti at FMSC.
  • We, along with the other volunteers, made enough meals to feed 90 children (I believe was the number).  Although this does not feed our local population, the positive impact is the local community coming together by sharing their time/resources to do good works and lifting fellow humans across the world.
  • I am proud to support the important work Greater Minneapolis Crisis Nursery provides to our community.  By serving as a trusted resource for families in crisis, in addition to other services, they provide care for children for up to three nights, to allow families time to address their crisis. Crisis Nursery has a "wish list" of items needed so that while children are in their care, all the "essentials" needed are provided for children/families free of charge.  I helped to support the organization by purchasing some of those "wish list" essential items and delivered to their center.
  • We packed over 20 snack bags for United Way/Chicago
  • Donated dog, puppy and cat food to our local animal shelter and spent time with the animals.
  • I volunteered with Community Table. They provide free meals to members of the community 4 nights a week. I helped to serve and clean up. I met a couple that has been married over 44 years and they have been running the meals at Mt. Zion Church since the 90's. Their commitment to the program is inspirational.
  • I feel the kids know each year this is kind of do on MLK day. Maybe next time I will do something different, but this became sort of a tradition. They always ask are we making tie blankets?
  • The New Ulm Office made tie blankets for The Ivy House, which is a crisis nursery located in New Ulm. When we delivered them, they gave us a tour and told us what they do, and it was so amazing! The Ivy House in New Ulm does so much for the kids/families in our community and local areas. They are incredible and we were so excited to donate the tie blankets to them!
  • I look forward to the impact the cozy blankets will have on members of our community! They will feel wrapped in love!
  • Helped make blankets for community members.
  • By making a tie blanket we will bring warmth to someone in need. My children and I made it together and read about the story of MLK. It was a day of learning and service.
  • I donated blood and then went to pack food. We packed 136 boxes which turns into 29,376 meals and will feed 80 kids for a year in Haiti.
  • We packed 136 boxes/29,376 meals/fed 80 kids a daily meal for a year.
  • We packed over 33,000 meals during our session at FMSC.
  • We helped pack 136 boxes, feeding 80 kids a daily meal for a year.
  • You could just go buy blankets and donate them, but I think taking time to make tie blankets feels more meaningful, and hopefully the people that receive them will special that people took time to make them something, rather than just buying it.
  • 80 kids fed for 1 year in Haiti.
  • We made 6 blankets with 4 more on the way (the shipping was delayed due to weather) - We are planning on donating these to Drumm Farms once we have them all completed.
  • Packing warrior bags for the Indy Foundation
  • Made tie blankets and donated towels to the humane society.
  • The Warrior Bags were not only an awesome way to give back to the community, but a great team building activity. We don't do many outsides of work activities that allow time to converse outside of work. This allowed everyone to bring their kids to help and enjoy each other’s time outside of work doing something for the community.
  • We made 5 tie blankets and donated them to the Ivy House which is a crisis "nursey" in New Ulm. Upon dropping them off, we were able to meet some of the staff who took us on a tour of the home. During the tour we learned about the many services and support they offer not only in New Ulm but in many surrounding communities (even the Twin Cities!) When kids come to Ivy House, they are provided with their own clothing, shoes, toiletries, and blankets, all of which they are allowed to take home. The staff explained that something as simple as a brand-new blanket means the world to these kids. Some of them have never had anything new of their own. Knowing that what we made will provide a child with something this special is a feeling I will cherish forever. The connection we made with Ivy House through this donation was incredible. We plan to make a point to find ways to support them in the future.
  • Our group packed 156 boxes at FMSC - our table alone packed 24 boxes! It was a great experience and I'm so happy we were able to pause from work for a day to give back in the community.
  • So far, $250 raised for Second Harvest - local food shelf = 2,500 meals (with approved CG match, 5,000 meals)
  • It so sad to see the Homeless Encampments around the Cities. I hope these blankets bring some comfort to those who will receive them.
  • Helped with tie blankets.
  • As a team, we made a variety of tie blankets that are going to be donated to those who will benefit from them most. Whether they go to hospitals, homeless shelters, animal shelters or anywhere in between, our tie blankets will help bring warmth to recipients near and far.
  • Made tie blankets for children and sending those blankets to local charities.
  • Helped to provide a small amount of entertainment to kids and families that are dealing with cancer in their family.
  • Glad we were able to participate in some positive way in our community.
  • I have heard food shelters are needing donations and food; it felt good to visit with the volunteers and I have planned to help in the future.
  • Donating gifts to the Monticello Giving Tree and reading the heartwarming responses from the students’ lives that were touched.
  • I feel the tie blankets will keep someone warm when needed.

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Special Olympics Polar Plunge - Sign up now

January 12, 2024

_It’s that time of year again to do something crazy!!!! _ _ _ Looking for all those brave and/or adventurous souls that are looking to plunge for a great cause!!

Who is brave enough to join in the Special Olympics Polar Plunge?

Julie Knack will be plunging again this year and would love to have other brave souls join her. Last year, with the help of Christensen Group employee match, the team of 22 plungers raised over $16,000! Let’s work to exceed that this year!!  Who’s in (literally?!))) Let’s make a big splash again this year!! 😊 _ _ All offices are welcome to join us. If you want to be part of the fun and it more convenient or are more comfortable doing a virtual that is fine as well. Our very own Sarina Khariwala has experience in this or the Minnesota Polar Plunge website has some suggestions but bring out your creative side!!!)

When: March 9,2024 Where: Eden Prairie, MN Time: _Plunging begins at noon- our exact plunge time is not determined until Friday evening before- a group text will be sent to the team members announcing the time as well as an email to the staff if anyone is interested in coming out and cheering us on). _ Team Name: 08.MSS.CG ROSS'S REBELS Ross Abraham is a Special Olympic Athlete and has been a team member for 11 years. He enthusiasm for this event is contagious! 😊 He is in the photo attached.)  (Team theme: TBD- Any suggestions?)   For those who have joined the team in the past, and/or anyone who has expressed interest in either joining the team or donating, now is the opportunity to sign up to join us or to donate to this wonderful cause! (It would be great to have some producers and management team join in on the fun this year!!) **Spouses and family members are also welcome and encouraged! **ALL are welcome.

Last year, with the help of Christensen Group employee match, the team raised over $16,000! Let’s work to exceed that this year!!  Who’s in (literally?!)))   You can sign up to join the team or donate using the link below. We can also use support the day of the plunge at Lake Riley in Eden Prairie as it does take encouragement to make that plunge into those icy waters!!! (NOTE: Each Plunger is required to raise a minimum of $75 to participate, and your participation is one important piece of an inclusive movement that raises millions of dollars every single year for Special Olympics Minnesota! There are other added incentives for different levels of monies raised.) _ _

AFFINITY PLUS BONUS DONATION for the 1st 2000 Plungers to use the code so act now!:  USE PROMO CODE: AFFINITYPLUS Because of our generous friends at Affinity Plus, when you register for the 2024 Plunge (virtual or in person) and use the promo code AFFINITYPLUS, you’ll receive a $50 donation toward your fundraising efforts! This campaign is limited to the first 2000 Plungers who use the code. Here’s what you need to do to earn an automatic $50 donation: Register for a virtual or in-person Plunge_ and enter the code AFFINITYPLUS in the promo code field during Step 3. Don’t forget to click the APPLY button after entering the code!_ Special Olympics MN makes a positive impact on athletes with intellectual disabilities that will last a lifetime and all funds raised goes towards programming and events for more than 8,000 athletes statewide.   Through sports, SOMN athletes celebrate their abilities, not their disabilities. Their world opens with acceptance and understanding. They become more confident and empowered by their accomplishments. They make new friends, joining the most inclusive community on the planet- a global community that's growing every day.   Our agency currently writes several accounts that specialize in providing care for the developmentally disabled and the compassion that the owners have for the work/service they provide is impressive.   So, while we do not provide the care that they do, we can offer support to empowering these individuals to celebrate who they are by participating in the annual Polar Plunge event and raise funds for a group that also shares that same compassion/enthusiasm for those with disabilities.

It feels good to be able to be part of it.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to reach out to Julie Knack the details.

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Thank you for participating in the Giving Tree!

January 5, 2024

Thank you for all that participated in making this a very special time for those in need.

Our Waite Park office spread the joy and donated gifts to four families through Bri's Lodge helping to spread holiday cheer to families this holiday season.

The CG Kansas office lit up the holidays for homeless youth. We joined forces with Drumm Farm Center for Children to provide essential services in the Missouri/Kansas Area. The contributions help create a nurturing and healing community.

Eden Prairie employee-owners partnered with Perspectives in the Twin Cities to address pressing societal issues. Together, we're making a difference in equity, diversity, inclusion, homelessness, and more.

The New Ulm team spread warmth and hope with a donation to NUMAS Haus, offering emergency shelter and support to homeless women and children in Brown County, Minnesota.

Monticello Public Schools students benefited from the office's generosity, granting over 30 wishes to kids in need this holiday season.

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Next Event: Polar Plunge, March 9th. Contact Julie Knack for more information.