The South Dakota Orphan Grain Train in Milbank is sponsoring a German sausage dinner to raise money for hurricane relief. The dinner is Sunday, October 29, from 5-7 p.m. at Emanuel Lutheran Church in Milbank. Waldner’s sausage with all the trimmings and live music are on the menu.
The Orphan Grain Train plans to support hurricane relief efforts in Texas, Florida, and the Caribbean. “All free will donations collected from this benefit dinner will help fellow Americans after their traumatic loss,” stated Mae Saeger, an Orphan Grain Train volunteer.
Orphan Grain Train is celebrating their 25th anniversary nationwide. Their international headquarters is in Norfolk, Nebraska, and there are 26 branch and collection locations around the country. The Milbank location opened its doors in 2005. According to Saeger, the Orphan Grain Train headquarters has received four stars – a very high rating – on the Charity Navigator scale. Orphan Grain Train spends only three cents of every dollar on administrative fees.
Orphan Grain Train shares personal and material resources with needy people in America and around the world. Volunteers gather clothing, medical supplies, school supplies, food, and Christian literature. The Milbank branch has provided relief around the globe, but is not a first responder unit. Recently, the local unit donated $4,000 to flood relief and shipped a trailer full of tools and cleaning supplies.
Milbank’s aid also stays in South Dakota. In 2014, they donated $2,000 to help with the purchase of furnaces for the victims of the flooding in Lincoln County. They provided groceries, donated money to farmers in need of hay, and helped to replace cattle lost in the 2013 winter storm in Milbank.
The Milbank unit is involved in making pillowcase dresses, t-shirt diapers, and plastic bag sleeping mats that are shipped abroad. They also help package and ship Mercy Meals which are distributed to children throughout the world.
“The request for relief is endless and volunteers are always needed,” Joyce Kasuske, an organizer and volunteer says. “We take groups of 10 or more people to pack Mercy Meals and need individuals to sort clothing, shoes, and more. Men are welcome, too. If you are unable to stand, we have things you can do while sitting down. Come in and see what we do!”
The Milbank Orphan Grain Train is open Tuesdays from 3-5 p.m. and Wednesdays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. until noon. For more information or to volunteer, contact Mae Saeger at 432-6413, Joyce Kasuske at 432-4377, or Jeanette Stensland at 467-0205.
(l. to r.) Joyce Kasuske, Jeanette Stensland, and Mae Saeger.