Giving to the Community: Positive Impacts by Thern Employees

The city of Winona is one of the best places to live in Minnesota. Nestled amongst the bluffs along the Mississippi River, the town is known for its scenery, parks, outdoor activities, and more. One of the best characteristics of Winona is that you’ll be greeted with a smile everywhere you go. Whether a long-time resident or just passing through, you will feel genuinely welcome. Part of Thern’s commitment to community is creating partnerships to enhance the well-being of those around us. Since Winona has given so much to Thern’s employees, they’ve demonstrated appreciation through participating in a variety of volunteer opportunities. Giving to the community is not just a “corporate value”, but is an integral part of how vision is turned in to action.


Giving to the Community in Winona, MN


Winona Volunteer Services

Thern’s Human Resources Department views volunteering as a team building exercise. They regularly volunteer at Winona Volunteer Services (WVS), an organization that provides inexpensive clothing and free food to those in need. Volunteers typically spend their time at WVS sorting donated items and stocking the shelves.

As HR Generalist Michelle Hermann says, “It’s good to give back to the community that you live in. It’s also great to have the staff do something good together as a team. Employees want a career that also prioritizes giving back to the community, so we try to deliver.”

WVS also provides Thern the opportunity to participate in their Meals on Wheels program. This is a volunteer service that provides food delivery to Winona community members.  Each week, Thern provides paid time off for employees to participate in this valuable service.

Adopt a HighwayAdopt A Highway

Thern recently adopted a one-mile stretch of Highway I-90! Drivers will see Thern employees in bright yellow and orange safety vests, trekking through the tall grass and picking up litter in the area.

American Cancer SocietyChili Cook Off

In addition to the formal programs, Thern employees are able to create a volunteer or fundraising event for a cause they feel passionate about. Following the unfortunate passing of a co-worker, the employees were inspired to host a chili cook off. All of the proceeds went to the American Cancer Society.

Car showAverage Joe Car Show

For many years, Thern employees can voluntarily contribute a portion of their salary to the “Sunshine Fund”, an endowment set aside to assist Thern employees in need.  In the summer of 2021 the “Average Joe Car Show” event raised additional money for the Sunshine Fund. Employees brought their vehicles, from classics to clunkers, and admired each other’s rides while enjoying a company sponsored BBQ.


Other organizations that Thern supports include the Great River Shakespeare Festival, Minnesota State College Southeast, Winona YMCA, Winona’s Little Warriors Drumline, and The Goodview Gallop.

Human Resources Manager Stephanie Hemker sums up Thern’s passion around volunteerism by stating: “We make an effort to volunteer because it aligns with our company core value to Put Others First.”

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