BEMIDJI -- The Otto Bremer Trust invested $56.8 million in grants and program-related investments to more than 650 organizations in 2019, with $7.1 million dedicated to the local area.

Last year, the trust provided funding to 95 organizations in central and northern Minnesota, as well as the Red River Valley. Otto Bremer is a bank holding company and private charitable trust in St. Paul, which supports organizations in Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota and Wisconsin.

In Bemidji, $100,000 was provided to Evergreen Youth and Family Services, an organization with operations including a youth crisis shelter, parent or guardian coaching and family counseling. Northwoods Interfaith Volunteer Caregivers, a nonprofit serving elderly and people with special needs, was another local recipient, receiving $50,000.

In Cass Lake, Anishinabe Legal Services received $70,000. Anishinabe is a legal services corporation providing free legal assistance to low-income individuals living near or on the Leech Lake, Red Lake and White Earth reservations.

"In just the past eight years, we have invested more than $365 million via grants and other financial vehicles to qualified organizations that are working on the front lines to creatively address issues that impact the daily lives of people throughout the region," Charlotte Johnson, Co-CEO and trustee, said in a release.

Along with providing grants, Otto Bremer Trust also established Community Benefit Financial Co. in 2019. According to a release, the company was established as a way to grow the availability of its financial resources with professional quality.

"Community Benefit Financial will provide a wide range of both programs- and mission-related investments to qualified organizations throughout our four state region," said Brian Lipschultz, Co-CEO and trustee. "By consolidating our lending and investment initiatives, we will increase the efficiency and visibility of these efforts."