A group of Vikings and their families honored the spirit of Thanksgiving by providing a dinner for 50 women who are currently staying at the Salvation Army Northern Divisionâs Harbor Light Center.
A group of Vikings employees and their families honored the spirit of Thanksgiving by providing a dinner for 50 women who are currently staying at The Salvation Army Northern Division's Harbor Light Center.
In addition to the meal, which was provided by Blue Door Pub, staff members and their families shared smiles and handed out winter clothing items and personal care packages that were donated to the ladies by local non-profit Matter through a partnership with the Vikings.
The evening was the first of its kind to be led by Women of the Vikings, a community outreach initiative that was launched this fall. The dinner was led by Greta Warren, wife of Vikings Chief Operating Officer Kevin Warren, and Vikings Director of Women's Initiatives/MVC Head Coach Tami Krause.
The Salvation Army's Northern Division Community Relations Director Annette Bauer said the ladies who were helped are currently staying in an emergency shelter while they can be placed into permanent, stable housing. The length of time a lady stays in the shelter usually ranges from 30-60 days while caseworkers provide assistance.
"Our caseworkers work with them and try to find the barriers of why they're not able to get into housing," Bauer said. "Sometimes it's a financial thing. Sometimes the barriers might be some of the choices they're making with bad company or some of that stuff.
"A lot of times, all they need is a little direction and guidance," Bauer added. "That's what we're trying to accomplish, giving them direction, guidance and also helping them see that there are good possibilities ahead. Sometimes you get in a rut and think nothing is ever going to work for me. That's kind of our goal, to help them see that good things can happen. That was one of the reasons it was such an amazing Thanksgiving dinner, because of how they were treated. It really showed, 'Hey, I might be somebody special after all.' "
Vikings Manager of Marketing Partnerships Katie Bernhjelm, Associate Counsel Josh Goldenberg, Corporate Sales Manager Natalie Kolander and Director of Sales Analytics and Engagement Rich Wang assisted with the dinner and were joined by Michele Spielman, wife of Vikings GM Rick Spielman, and Jami Edwards, wife of Vikings Defensive Coordinator George Edwards.
Children of Warren, Krause, Kolander, Wang, Spielman and Edwards also assisted with the meal.
"It was amazing. We did exactly what I had hoped, which was to make 50 women feel incredibly special," Bauer said. "I can't believe how genuine, how gracious, all the [Women of the Vikings and staff] were, including their kids. I have never met such polite, well-mannered, fun-to-be-around young people."