As 2016 comes to a close, so does the inaugural year of our Fair State Cooperates program. We teamed up with twelve different non-profit organizations to raise funds and awareness, while also lending a hand. Everything about this initiative has been made possible by our community of members and taproom regulars.
If you stopped by the taproom to purchase a growler in 2016, then you helped support one of Minnesota’s excellent non-profit organizations. Every growler that went home with a customer was also a dollar that went to a non-profit. Several thousand dollars donated, just by buying beer.
In addition to growlers, we also used work gloves. Every organization has its own unique needs that we did our best to accommodate. Each partnership provided a different experience for members, staff, and regulars to come together and get our hands dirty. Monthly volunteer events ranged from landscaping to bike wrenching, to preparing food, to crafting art with kids.
One day that readily comes to mind, was working with Friends of the Mississippi River back in July. A dozen volunteers gathered in the Beer Garden. Adam and Trevor from FMR gave us a quick lesson on the water table, the river, and the stuff that goes through our drains. We then split into three groups and covered the brewery’s surrounding neighborhood. Each group was equipped with a stencil, paint, and informational brochures. We cleaned and stenciled each storm drain with the message DUMP NO WASTE, DRAINS TO RIVER. It was a beautiful day, and neighbors became curious about the folks in red shirts cleaning and decorating drains. The Fair State Cooperators enthusiastically spoke to the importance of clean storm drains, shared a brochure, and made a plug for the local brewery’s volunteer program. In addition to doing some work in the wonderful weather, the day was great because we met some neighbors, and people seemed genuinely appreciative of the effort. The day finished with the new tradition of gathering back at the taproom for a couple pints on the house, and some delicious replenishing snacks donated by Eastside Food Co-op.
2016 was a great first year for the program. We had fun, made connections, and found areas to improve upon. If you have not already joined us, I hope that this is the year you spend some time with Fair State Cooperates. This Fall at our annual meeting, member-owners selected our non-profit partners for the 2017 year. Without further adieu, the line-up for next year is…
Center for Victims of Torture
Friends of the Mississippi
Greater Minneapolis Crisis Nursery
Family Tree Clinic
Animal Humane Society
Eastside Neighborhood Services
SACA Food Shelf
Free Arts Minnesota
Can Do Canines
Children’s Cancer Research Fund
This project has been a fun one to develop, and I am excited to see what it becomes. If you are interested in learning more, wish to get involved, or nominate future Fair State Cooperates non-profit partners, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org