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Twins employees help lift spirit of community

Front-office staff members volunteer during team's annual Week of Giving

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins celebrated the holidays by giving back during their Holiday Week of Giving, which came to a close on Friday.

The Twins held a different charity event each day during the week, with front-office staff members volunteering at every stop. The organization has been hosting the Holiday Week of Giving since 2005.

"It's been a great success," Twins director of community relations Bryan Donaldson said. "It allows our employees here in the offseason to get out and volunteer in the community and be seen. We have our players get out in the community a ton during the season, but in the offseason it's our employees' time to shine and give back."

The five-day event started Dec. 16 with front-office employees volunteering at seven Salvation Army kettle sites at the Mall of America. The money raised was donated to Salvation Army Harbor Lights, which is adjacent to Target Field and is the largest homeless shelter in Minneapolis.

On Tuesday, Twins employees helped renovate MTS Elementary, a public charter school in Minneapolis, in conjunction with Rebuilding Together. Employees helped paint and build closets at the school.

The next event was at Bridging Furniture Bank in Roseville on Wednesday, with Twins volunteers helping load and unload trucks, sorting through donated goods and restocking shelves. Bridging Furniture Bank helps provide furniture and household goods for those transitioning out of homelessness.

Thursday featured a visit to the Ronald McDonald House with volunteers bringing breakfast and playing baseball with the children in the gym.

The final event of the week came on Friday at Open Arms Minnesota with volunteers delivering meals to people with serious illnesses.

It was another successful Holiday Week of Giving for the Twins, who make it a point to give back during the holidays.

Next up the Twins will be hosting their annual Winter Caravan throughout the Upper Midwest in January before hosting TwinsFest, which will be at Target Field for the first time, from Jan. 24-26.

This year's caravan features stops in nearly 50 communities in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Iowa, and runs from Jan. 13-23. Players scheduled to go on caravan include Brian Duensing, Ryan Pressly, Kyle Gibson, Caleb Thielbar, Anthony Swarzak, Trevor Plouffe and Glen Perkins. Joe Mauer, Ricky Nolasco and Pedro Florimon are also set to attend the St. Paul Hot Stove event on Jan. 21. Coaches going on caravan include Terry Steinbach, Tom Brunansky and Paul Molitor, while manager Ron Gardenhire will miss his first caravan since 1991 to attend his daughter's wedding.

More than 30 players on the 40-man roster will be in attendance at TwinsFest, including Josh Willingham, Jared Burton, Kevin Correia, Brian Dozier, Mauer, Perkins, Plouffe and new additions Nolasco and Phil Hughes. Top prospects Byron Buxton and Alex Meyer are also set to appear.

"Giving back to the community is one of the core parts of our overall brand," Donaldson said. "We want the public to see the Twins as family friendly, affordable, hard-working, and as an organization that gives back to the community. We want to be seen as a good neighbor."

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger.

Minnesota Twins