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Continued: Sisters keep a Coon Rapids nonprofit's legacy going in Haiti

  • Article by: ANNA PRATT , Star Tribune
  • Last update: April 9, 2013 - 3:48 PM

Brau recalled a story about a family’s house burning down on Christmas. Reiser was the first one on the scene, and by that afternoon, he was able to get the family into a house, with clothing and shoes and a visit from Santa.

Getchell, who lives in Forest Lake, serves as the board secretary for Reiser Relief.

Over the past year, she has learned all kinds of new skills related to everything from video production to website design. In some ways, she’s getting to use degrees in communications and business. “It’s been rewarding for me personally, to bring out some of those things that had been dormant in my life,” she said.

These days, “I’m keenly interested in all things Haiti,” she said.

She says she’s struck by the fact that many of the people, the poorest of the poor, are “so joyful. It brought to light for me what’s important in life. Stuff doesn’t equal joy. It’s relationships and culture and faith.”

Coon Rapids resident Doris Schulte, a board member and chairman of the fundraiser who was a close friend of Reiser, agreed.

When Reiser’s Haiti ministry got started, “I knew this was what God wanted me to do. I needed to promote it and keep his legacy alive,” she said. “He was an amazing man. I miss him. But I truly believe that he impacts my life even today.”

 

Anna Pratt is a Minneapolis freelance writer.

  • related content

  • Sisters Ann Brau and Joyce Getchell have carried on the work in Haiti of their uncle, the late Rev. Bernard Reiser. Brau is from Eden Prairie, a connection she noted in this young boy’s apparel.

  • Fundraiser for reiser relief

    WHAT: Keep the Wheel Turning fundraiser for Haiti relief effort

    WHEN: Wednesday, April 24, 6:30-9:30 p.m.

    WHERE: Totino Grace High School, 1350 Gardena Av. NE., Fridley

    COST: Free, but donations accepted. Send donations to Reiser Relief, P.O. Box 48096, Coon Rapids, MN 55448. For more information, check out www.reiserrelief.org

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