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WDAY: The News Leader

Published January 24, 2012, 10:17 PM

Rothsay non-profit breathing new life into empty church building

Rothsay, MN (WDAY TV) - A non-profit out of Rothsay is breathing new life into an old church building. Our Savior's Lutheran Church has stood empty for about a year, but this spring it'll be filled once again; not with parishioners, but with people helping the elderly

A non-profit out of Rothsay is breathing new life into an old church building. Our Savior's Lutheran Church has stood empty for about a year, but this spring it'll be filled once again; not with parishioners, but with people helping the elderly.

Marlys Winkels owns her own cleaning business, but today she's cleaning for a different purpose.

Marlys Winkels – PARTNERS Program Director: "All they want is to be in their own communities in their own homes and I'm fascinated about that, that they can stay in their homes as long as possible in their communities and that's what Partners is all about."

Winkels is at the home of Art Fosse.

Art Fosse – PARTNERS Client: "Very important being in your own neighborhood and friends."

He's one of about 50 people in Wilkin and Otter Tail Counties who get free services from PARTNERS ranging anywhere from respite care to meal delivery to transportation to friendly visits.

Marlys Winkels: "Volunteers are their friends, are their families probably are their neighbors."

PARTNERS is partially funded through the Department of Human Services. To generate another funding source, it's starting a thrift store inside this old church building.

Marlys Winkels: "With the economic crunch in all the states including Minnesota, we don't know if those funds will be there down the road so we're looking for ways to sustain ourselves."

PARTNERS plans to open the store by May 1st. The non-profit hopes this new endeavor will bring in 10 thousand dollars a year to help pay for overhead costs, clinics, activities and other expenses.

Marlys Winkels: "It's extremely important the community comes behind us because we're looking for them for our product."

Products that'll turn into proceeds for an organization dedicated to serving the elderly.

Art Fosse: "Money wise they've saved people from going into the homes, you know."

PARTNERS gets about $20,000 a year from the state. It needs to raise another $25,000 to continue operations.

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