St. John's Church recently presented a donation of $2,566.05 to the Southwest MN Crisis Nursery - proceeds from the Pumpkin Patch Palooza.

The Southern Minnesota Crisis Nursery, located in New Ulm and serving the Brown County area, provides short term emergency shelter to children of families in crisis. On Oct. 1, St. John’s Lutheran Church and School in Sleepy Eye held a special family event—their second annual Pumpkin Patch Palooza—and earmarked the proceeds for the Crisis Nursery. They recently presented their donation—$2,566.05.

“Our purpose with the Pumpkin Patch Palooza was to provide an afternoon of fun for families in and around our community,” said event co-chair, Paula Windschitl. “All games and activities were free, and any proceeds from the sale of concessions and farmer’s market items were contributed to the Southern Minnesota Crisis Nursery.”

St. John’s Pumpkin Patch Palooza included hayrides, pumpkin decorating, a farmer’s market, face-painting, many free children’s games with prizes, straw bale maze, a largest pumpkin contest, grilled burgers, hot chocolate, coffee, pie, cotton candy and caramel apple slices.

“We were challenged with very wet weather this year,” said Windschitl. “But the skies cleared enough by noon to hold the event. About 50 volunteers worked to develop, promote and carry out the events of the day and we appreciate the many local businesses and individuals who contributed funds or products to make the event successful.” Windschitl added they were very happy to contribute the proceeds to the crisis nursery.

The Southern Minnesota Crisis Nursery describes its services as unique to greater Minnesota, providing children with a safe and loving space to enjoy for up to 72 hours at a time. According to information provided by the Crisis Nursery—as of Dec. 5, care has been provided to more than 40 individual children, for more than 150 total days of care, shielded from the toxic effects of extreme familial stress. In addition to shelter services, the Crisis Nursery provides connections to services and advocacy for families that use their services, ensuring they get the support they need to overcome any crises they face.

Contact the Southern Minnesota Crisis Nursery at 507-354-7626, or in emergencies, the hotline number is 507-766-6925.