Weeks 1/11/21 to 1/31/21

If you have community announcements you would like posted on our website, mail them to the office at: 604 3rd Avenue West in Alexandria at least two weeks prior to the event or fax them to 320-762-2156.

  • The Car Care Program would like you to visit their Christmas Story Trees at Elden’s Foods and New Life Church in Alexandria or Tom’s Food Pride in Glenwood. You’ll read the stories of need and special ways to gift God’s love. At the same time, you’ll be helping to decorate our Christmas Story Tree to show all what God’s love can do. If you can’t get to one of our locations, you can help us decorate our virtual Christmas Story Tree as As you visit the grocery stores, be sure to register to win $100 in groceries. No purchase necessary to win During the Holidays, each gift that is given is symbolic of the gift of God’s love. The Car Care Program has set up 3 Christmas Story Trees in Alexandria and Glenwood. Beside these trees you will find special stories of need in our community and ways that you can become a change maker with your gift. You’ll find the Christmas Story Trees at Elden’s Foods and New Life Church in Alexandria, and at Tom’s Food Pride in Glenwood. As you give a gift, you’ll also be decorating the Christmas Story Tree. Remember, at the grocery stores you can register to win a $100 worth of groceries. No purchase necessary. If you can’t get to the 3 locations, check out our virtual Christmas Story Tree at
  • Vance Thompson Vision will host a virtual Wake Up Alexandria on Friday, January 15 from 7:30 to 8:30 am. The event is open to everyone. It includes time to learn about Vance Thompson Vision and the services it offers, and about the nonprofit of the day, Mount Carmel Ministries. There will also be time for networking and hearing about what is going on in the community through attendee announcements. All Chamber members will be placed in a drawing for the Pot of Gold, which is currently valued at more than $4,800! To register for this event, visit
  • United Way upcoming events/programs:

The Community Coat Room is open for visitors and for those wishing to make a donation from 10am – 4pm on Fridays for the month of January.

The Coat Room is located at the United Way office and provides coats and cold weather accessories for Douglas and Pope County families free of charge. Please call before visiting. Dates and hours are subject to change without notice.

 United Way Pope County Food Drop:

Tuesday, January 12th  

@ Glenwood United Parish

Pre-Registration is required.

Online registration ( : Opens Sunday, January 10th at 10am, closes Monday, January 11th at 2pm

Phone registration (320-834-7800): Monday, January 11th  10am – 2pm

 Request for Proposals

United Way of Douglas & Pope Counties is requesting proposals to help achieve their goals within Health, Education & Financial Stability.  United Way invites 501(c)3 nonprofit or government organizations doing outstanding work in these areas to consider applying for United Way Community Impact Grants. Nonprofits applying for funding for programs must align with UWDP Priorities, Goals and Focus Areas.  Refer to to review the complete RFP and guidelines. Applications accepted January 20th– March 10th, 2021. For more information, contact Jen Jabas, Executive Director, at 320-834-7800.

 United Way Douglas County Food Drop:

Thursday, January 28th

@ New Life Christian Church

Pre-Registration is required.

Online registration ( : Opens Tuesday January 26th at 10am, closes Wednesday, January 27th at 2pm

Phone registration (320-834-7800): Wednesday, January 27th 10am – 2pm

  • Celebrate successes at the Chamber of Commerce Annual Celebration!

    Join businesses and community members in celebrating the successes our community witnessed in 2020 (yes, there are things to celebrate) and look ahead to a better year to come in 2021 at the Alexandria Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce’s virtual Annual Celebration on Monday, January 18 at 7 pm. This event is free and open to everyone. Visit for the live link to tune in.

    At this event, we will pay tribute to the 2020 Friend of the Chamber, Carl Vaagenes, CEO of Alomere Health, and this year’s Top 5 Under 40 Young Professionals in the Alexandria Lakes Area:

    Alexis Wagner, Special Education Teacher, Lincoln Elementary School

    Bobbi Perseke, Office Manager, Alexandria Precision Machining

    Derek Goracke, Chiropractor, Central Lakes Chiropractic Clinic

    KaLee Mohrman, Director of Hospice, Knute Nelson

    Michelle Nessman, CEO & Founder, Elite

    There will also be other awards and recognitions shared throughout the evening.

    In the spirit of collaboration and supporting one another, all “attendees” are encouraged to support local restaurants and other businesses by picking up takeout to enjoy as you watch the celebration. Share photos of your partaking in the celebration on social media with the hashtag #BetterTogether for a chance to win Chamber Bucks!

    All the evening’s honorees as well as other Chamber highlights will also be featured in the Chamber’s Annual Publication, published by and inserted into the Echo Press in late January. For more information on the event, call the Alexandria Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce at 320-763-3161 or email

  • Join Habitat for Humanity at a Virtual Dedication for the Women Build home for Stephanie’s family

Habitat invites you to join a virtual Dedication for the Women Build home and Stephanie’s family on Thursday, January 21, 2021 at 4:00 pm live on Habitat’s Facebook page. 

The virtual event will be held live on Habitat’s Facebook page at 4:00 pm and will include a tour of the home. We hope you can join us to share this milestone experience for our newest homeowner, Stephanie. Post your congratulations for her on our Facebook event.

  • Habitat for Humanity has special funding for home repairs for Veterans

 Any Veteran in need of home repair and/or modification and lives in Douglas County is eligible to apply.

Renovations will assist Veterans in making their homes accessible, healthy and safe.  Example projects may include installing ramps and grab bars, widening doorways, creating zero-step entrances, installing raised toilets and hand-held shower heads, replacing doors, windows, flooring, insulation, updating painting and more. 

Habitat is honored to give back to those who have given so much for our country!

If you or someone you know is interested in applying, contact Denise at 320-762-4255 ext 102, email or go online at:


  • Horizon Public Health is once again asking members of our community to help slow the spread of COVID-19. The virus is spreading at faster rates around the country, in the Mid-West and here in West Central Minnesota. Our cases have significantly increased during October and we are now approaching 200 active cases at any given time in our 5 counties. We are all connected; by our health, by our actions and by our commitment to each other. We need your help.
    As the weather gets colder, we move indoors and our risk for transmission increases. While we are waiting for a vaccine, we are not ready yet to relax our preventative measures. Fall has been cut short, winter has arrived and we are needing some bright spots in our lives to find a way to get through these times. What is a person to do?
    We know everyone has had many changes that required adjustments during 2020. What we also know is that is takes a supportive community, strong role models, and everyone working together to keep as many things going as we would like. We need to find the balance of living life fully, while also protecting the ones that we love, and those we may not even know, from a virus that doesn’t discriminate.
    Horizon Public Health is seeing transmission of the virus as a result of a wide variety of activities. Everything from social and family gatherings, events, sports, workplaces can contribute to an exposure, or exposing someone else to the virus.
    Here are some best practices we ask everyone to consider applying consistently in their daily lives:
    • Stay home when you are sick! This is critical and an area where we fail occasionally. Admit it, we have all tried to “carry on” even when we are sick. Now is NOT the time to do this.
    • Mask up… all the time when you are with people outside your household. Make it a habit. It makes others feel safer and they are more likely to wear one too.
    • Limit your interactions and the time you spend with others, especially if you are high risk.
    • Consider your activities and daily routine. In the past few months most of us have dramatically increased our interactions and exposure. Occasionally we get too comfortable (and frankly we are a bit tired of all of this) and let down our guard. Where has that been happening in your life? Make a commitment to getting back on track and supporting others trying to do the same thing.
    • Don’t frequent places where you don’t feel safe. Leave, it sends a message.
    • Take care of your mental and physical health. This virus is wearing on all of us.
    As a society we are trying to balance many things right now, some of which, simply said, are not easily compatible with each other. We probably all agree that we want our kids in school, an open economy and to have the virus contained. Our best chance is to have the majority of people setting a strong, consistent example for how we can safely interact and not spread the virus.
    We are asking you for your help. Be a role model. Stay home if you are sick, mask up, wash your hands and give others compassion and a grace during these trying times. Now is the time to make a safe plan for how you will handle the upcoming holidays. Wouldn’t it be great to have a surge of kindness spreading across our community rather than the virus? Stay well.