Internal Initiatives

Raising and allocating dollars to more than 44 partners is only part of United Way of Otter Tail & Wadena Counties' strategy to make a significant impact in our community.  The following community initiatives focus specifically on important issues such as strengthening families, providing financial stability and community health.



 Friends of Friends Fighting Hunger

Distributions exceeding $87,000 were given to Otter Tail County Food Pantries and the Wadena Food Pantry, Food Drops and Feeding Backpack Programs in March 2022.  Click here to learn more about Friends of Friends.




Stuff the Bus

Stuff the Bus is a program where school backpacks and supplies are filled for children of families in need in Otter Tail County.  Backpacks were filled for over 900 Otter Tail County children who were in need for the 2023-2024 school year.

Coats for Kids

Coats for Kids is a program where we collect gently used or new winter outerwear for children and adults that are in need.  We are accept gently used coats, hats, mittens and scarves for families in need for the winter!

Feeding Backpack Program

United Way and many community partners throughout the county work together to coordinate many feeding backpack programs in Otter Tail & Wadena Counties to youth K-12 placing food in backpacks of hungry kids each Friday in all of our school districts!  There are currently over 400 children enrolled.

Imagination Library

Imagination Library is a program from the Dollywood Foundation that promotes early childhood literacy.  Participants of the program receive a book a month in the mail from birth until the age of 5.  To sustain costs and keep funding, the program will be capped off at 500 children in Otter Tail County and 150 children in Wadena County.