Erich Mische Headshot
Erich Mische
Executive Director

Erich Mische has been Spare Key's Executive Director since 2012. Prior to this leadership role he served on the Spare Key Board of Directors and Spare Key Executive Committee. Before Spare Key, Erich had a 35 year career in local, state and national government and politics.  In 2020, Erich took a homemade raft down the Mississippi River from St. Paul, Minnesota to Baton Rouge, Louisiana on a two-month, 1,700 mile, 10 state journey to raise funds and awareness for Spare Key during the height of the global pandemic. He lived to write a book about it called, "Hope on the River: An Unlikely Captain's 1,700 Mile Mississippi River Journey On A Leaky Raft To Save His NonProfit" with 100% of the proceeds going to Spare Key to help expand the capacity of its platform.  Mische and his wife, Mary-Helen, are the proud parents of Owen, 21 and Maisie, 19, who are both college students attending the University of St. Thomas and Marquette University respectively.

Published On: October 20, 2022
What If By Erich Mische
In my nearly 11 years as Executive Director of Spare Key there was no single accomplishment of this organization that belongs to any single individual. It was the combined effort of a dedicated staff, a remarkable Board of Directors, generous donors, kind volunteers and the never-ending commitment to the families we serve and seek to serve to ask the question "What if?" When I became Executive Director I had zero experience running a non-profit. What I had, though, was a community of people and organizations who stood with me, by me and behind me to focus on answering the "What if?" questions with real and tangible efforts to help families facing a medical crisis "Be Seen. Be Heard. Be Found." by donors throughout the country to help them pay their bills. Sarah Putnam, Spare Key's current Chief Marketing Officer, will become the next Executive Director on November 1st. She will bring to the organization a level of passion, commitment and vision that I simply cannot wait to see put into action with the same kind of help and support I received nearly 11 years ago from a dedicated staff, a remarkable Board of Directors, generous donors, kind volunteers and the never-ending commitment to the families we serve and seek to serve by asking the question "What if?"
Published On: September 13, 2022
The Meaning of a Raffle Ticket
Buying a raffle ticket to win a trip to Pebble Beach makes a HUGE difference in the lives of families facing unimaginable medical crises. The questions of “Who?”, “What?” and “Why?” behind that purchase are worth digging into deeper! Read Erich Mische’s most recent blog that covers why YOU should care about this raffle and how it impacts families on
Published On: August 30, 2022
Money Matters but People Matter the Most
Of all of the assets that Spare Key values the most, there are none more important than the people that support our organization and mission. There’s no amount of money that can pay for the dedication, professionalism and commitment of staff, Board Members and above all else, volunteers!
Published On: August 16, 2022
Hope is a Journey
In Spare Key’s 25 year history it's been a marathon, not a sprint, to help families Bounce and not Break. On September 15th, we'll continue the marathon to celebrate Spare Key's 25th Anniversary of serving families.
Published On: August 4, 2022
The Kindness of Strangers Blog by Erich
The phrase "It takes a Village" best describes how Spare Key has been able to help families "Bounce and not Break" since our founding in 1997. Twenty-five years later, that Spare Key Village continues to help families facing a medical crisis avoid adding a financial crisis to their lives.