SMALL TOWN SHOWS OFF A BIG HEART
Charlie Pesch was already planning a trip to Texas to check on the honey bees he brought there in October when news broke of that state's emergency situation following a recent winter storm unlike any that state has ever seen.
Millions of people in Texas are without power and reliable water. And food supplies are extremely low. People are lined up outside stores in an attempt to get provisions for their family.
"I thought as long as I'm going down there, I'll bring some supplies with me to help them out," said Pesch, the owner/operator of Big Dipper Honey in Minneota.
Pesch donated $400 of his own money for food, water and other supplies for the people of Texas. He posted a Facebook message on Friday to see if anyone else wanted to donate to the cause. But little did he realize, the donations began pouring in like a busted dam.
"My phone never stopped ringing last night," said Pesch on Saturday. "I'm still kind of shocked. I was going to do this anyway and I had some extra room on my truck, so I thought I'd see if anyone else wanted to help.”“But I never dreamed it would be this much."
Pesch was planning to leave for Texas at 6 a.m. on Sunday, but because of the many donations of cash and supplies, he postponed the trip a few extra hours in order to load his truck. He spent most of Saturday shopping for provisions. A Howard Lake man Pesch caravans with to Texas is also bringing a flatbed truck filled with supplies.
By the time Pesch left around noon on Sunday the donations had climbed over $4,000.
Ironically, the town Pesch will help out is Naples, Texas, a small town with a population of 1,310, close in size to Minneota. He will leave the supplies at a food shelf which will then pass out the supplies.
On Saturday morning, Pesch purchased $1,000 worth of supplies from Brad's Market, including 20 cases of bottled water, bread, eggs, non-perishable food items, baby wipes, shampoo and much more.
"I wanted to help locally," Pesch explained. "I called Brad (Minnehan) and he said he would meet me at the store. He helped me pick out the items and rang me up, too. We had six carts full of stuff. And he gave me the items at cost."
Bolt's (Kelly and Bill Bolt) Lake Benton Grocery Store donated a carload of food, water and other items.
When Pesch was at Gislason's Hardware to pick up some supplies for the trip, he was given a substantial cash donation from them.
"When I went outside (of Gislason's), a man that was in the store at the same time I was, handed me a $100 bill for a donation," Pesch said. "It's been crazy."
Pesch brought 150 hives to an area in northeast Texas around the end of October in order for his bees to be in a warmer climate where they can multiply. This is the second year he has brought his hives there. He returns to Texas to pick them up in early May and bring them back to Minneota.
But this unusual harsh weather in Texas may have taken a toll on some of his hives.
"I have no idea what to expect when I get there," Pesch said. "I was told they got around a foot of snow where my bees are. They can survive this, but I'm sure I will lose some."
Pesch will return to Minneota to pick up some supplies for his bees and then drive back to Texas in early March.
"I'll stay there for a couple of months and bring the bees back with me when I come home in early May," he said.