Minot has long been a community known for taking care of its own residents in times of need. Volunteering creates ties within the community that make our city a better place.
Volunteer efforts don’t have to be a grand gesture. Often the smallest contributions can make the biggest difference in someone else’s life. Every community offers a number of options – large and small - for residents to get involved. Minot is no different.
The Norsk Hostfest has been a great example for decades of what can be accomplished through the power of volunteers. What started as a small celebration of Scandinavian heritage grew into one of the largest such events in North America, drawing thousands of visitors annually from across the United States and the world. But the Hostfest would be impossible to hold without hundreds of volunteers committing thousands of volunteer hours each year. The Hostfest hasn’t been held the past two years because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but when the event restarts, an army of volunteers will no doubt again be the lifeblood of the event. We’re looking forward to that day.
When you attend the North Dakota State Fair, there are endless examples of volunteerism that help make the event successful every year. There are several food booths staffed by volunteers, whether they’re from churches or youth groups, and volunteers help organizations like the FFA and others.
There are smaller events that happen every week in Minot, of course, but many of them are also successful because members of the community take time to participate.
The Pumpkin Walk at Woodland Trail happened over two days last weekend, and thousands of visitors walked the trail to marvel at the 850 pumpkins that were carved and donated by community members and businesses. The Minot Park District put out requests for pumpkin donations, and the community responded. It was a great free, family-friendly event, thanks to the amazing community involvement.
Service clubs and the volunteer efforts of their members play a major role in our community. Who hasn’t been to the annual Kiwanis pancake breakfast or driven through Oak Park to witness the dazzling light displays that are part of the Sertoma Club’s annual Christmas in the Park event? The Minot Rotary Club raises money through a variety of events each year, and awards scholarships to high school seniors in the Minot area annually. All our service clubs are dedicated to their community, and continue to give back through volunteer efforts and the thousands of dollars they donate every year to local projects and students. Their contributions to making Minot a better community are invaluable.
Community ties and relationships are strengthened through volunteering. Businesses that encourage and support employees who volunteer should be commended because that collaborative effort benefits the employee, the business, and those organizations that are in need of assistance.
There are endless opportunities to volunteer in our community. You can find many opportunities through the Souris Valley United Way, including programs like Backpack Buddies that provides food to children in need every week during the school year. The Men’s Winter Refuge provides a safe place for men in need during the coldest months in area, and can always use more help. The Minot Area Homeless Coalition provides an array of services to combat homelessness in our area. The Minot Commission on Aging includes many services to senior citizens in our community, including Meals on Wheels that provides food and a wellness check to residents who may be homebound. There are many, many more organizations that would welcome your help.
Get involved. Reach out to any of these organizations and ask your family, friends, or co-workers to join you. I promise you there is an organization out there that will welcome your time and talents. The experience will enhance your life and make the Magic City and even greater place to live, work, and play.
Sincerely, City Hall
You can find more about what’s happening at the City of Minot at minotnd.org, or find us on Facebook and Twitter. We’d also encourage you to sign up for our monthly electronic newsletter on our website.