About Us

The Holiday Sharing Tree was founded in 1985 and is a non-profit, seasonal gift-giving project.  

Blue Earth County Human Services and Nicollet County Social Services serve as clearing houses and determine the recipients. The Holiday Sharing Tree project is then given those names and Giving Cards are filled out with a request for a gift card valued at approximately $20. The Giving Cards are then distributed to designated Giving Card pick up locations and area businesses who sponsor Giving Cards. Shoppers pick up cards and return a gift card by Sunday, Dec 12th at 5:00 p.m. Gift cards are then distributed to families and individuals on a one day distribution date prior to Christmas from the Mankato Armory and at Nicollet County Social Services in St. Peter.
The project kicks off mid-November and gifts are distributed approximately a week prior to Christmas. The project runs 42 days.

In 1985, 182 families were provided gifts. The number has escalated rapidly since then and currently approximately 900 families or 3,300 individuals are being helped. Since 1985 the Holiday Sharing Tree has provided over 71,000 gifts to individuals. For most, these are the only gifts they receive during the holiday season.

​The Holiday Sharing Tree is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. The project is funded by individual and corporate/organizational donations. Special fundraising/grant opportunities arise occasionally, but our primary source of funding is through public donations.

Many area businesses, volunteers, donors, and service organizations dedicate their efforts and resources for the project. A board of volunteer business professionals, along with a project manager coordinate the project.

Holiday Sharing Tree Board of Directors

Jo Guck Bailey – Sign Pro
Kim Bruender – Gene’s Repair of Eagle Lake

Elli Fisher – Retired, Center Point Energy

Jason Fisher - Mankato Clinic

Katie Heintz- North Mankato Library

​Christopher Kind – Bethany Lutheran College

Jodi Maas - Gustavus Adolphus College
Jamison Peterson - Bremer Bank

Christie Satre – Insight Cloud + Data Center Transformation

Danica Walser - Compeer Financial
Jennifer Weckwerth - Coloplast Manufacturing US

Brenda Wick - Rasmussen College

Denise Zernechel - Northern Comfort

Joy Kelley - Ploog Electric

Kate Kelley - Farrish, Johnson Law Office, CHTD

Jessica DuRose – Nicollet County Social Services

Noell Brunder - Blue Earth County Human Services


Liz Thiesse - Holiday Sharing Tree Project Manager