Homeless veterans receive donations from Mayo Clinic Health System employees

Mayo Clinic Health System in Albert Lea employees had an opportunity to participate in a challenge called Kindness Counts.

Employees were asked for donations to help fill up baskets for local and southern Minnesota women veterans who are homeless or ill. Freeborn County Women Veterans are meeting once a month, and part of their meeting is to make baskets. They are looking for travel-size toiletries, such as soaps, shampoos, lotions, hand sanitizers, toothbrushes and toothpaste, among others.

In a few weeks, Mayo Clinic Health System employees collectively donated 1,126 items and cash donations to the Women Veterans group, according to a press release.

“This has been such a rewarding experience,” said Jessica Maiden, licensed practical nurse in internal medicine at Mayo Clinic Health System in Albert Lea, who helped organize the challenge. “I want to thank everyone that has contributed. I walked into my little room where we stored the donations and was overwhelmed by the amounts of pure generosity which filled that room.”

Representatives from the Freeborn County Women Veterans stopped by Wednesday to view the donations.

Maiden said the plan was to first have this on her second-floor clinical departments, but once word spread about the project, everyone wanted to take part.

“This is an amazing and true example of what we can do when we all come together,” Maiden said.