Second annual Day of Caring to be held May 2

Community sponsored event expected to be bigger than last year

By Tina Snell, Staff Writer
[email protected]

The Healthy Communities Collaborative of Morrison County (HCC) recently donated $500 to help cover some of the expenses for the second annual Little Falls Community High School (LFCHS) “Day of Caring.” The Day of Caring will be held Wednesday, May 2, and involves the entire high school student body volunteering, along with adult mentors, helping homeowners with outdoor spring clean-up projects in Little Falls and Randall. Area businesses also provide volunteer teams to help with the project. The focus of the project is to serve the elderly, homebound and disabled individual homeowners. Homeowners can find a project request form in this issue of the Record, or may pick one up at area churches, senior centers, the Morrison County Record, the Carnegie Library, Gosch’s Store in Randall, Coborn’s and Little Falls Radio. For more information, contact Mary Kenna at (320) 631-5677. Pictured are (from left): Mary Kenna, HCC program coordinator; Kate Bjorge, HCC executive director; Molly Kula and Carley Townsend, LFCHS Student Council members and Tim Bjorge, LFCHS Principal.

The second annual Day of Caring will take place Wednesday, May 2, in the Little Falls and Randall communities.

“This is truly a community day of service,” said Little Falls Community High School (LFCHS) Principal Tim Bjorge. “Besides the students last year, we had 75 residents, Camp Ripley members, a work team from St. Gabriel’s Hospital and several businesses and civic organizations helping to spruce up the community.”

The duties of the volunteers, both students in ninth – 12th grades, and community volunteers will be to rake lawns and wash ground-level windows. The debris collected will be picked up by the city of Little Falls and Randall on the same day.

“Last year, we helped 135 homeowners with 900 volunteers,” said LFCHS social worker Becky Abbott. “We also cleaned 10 parks in Little Falls and two in Randall.”

Abbott said there were lots of excited students after the first annual Day of Caring, and even more positive comments on the event.

Students made great connections with the elderly residents they helped last year, said Bjorge. He said it’s a great way for the school to give back to the community.

The Day of Caring event’s advisory committee gives the project its direction. Representatives from Horizon Health, the cities of Little Falls and Randall, Camp Ripley, Coborn’s, Chartwells, Healthy Communities Collaborative, Spectrum and the Flyers Athletic Boosters (FAB) all have a hand in making this event successful.

“The entire community rallied around the event last year, stepping forward and helping to make it a success,” said Bjorge. “We are fortunate living where we do.”

Residents wishing help with their yard work this spring are asked to fill out the project request form. The one with this the article may be used, or forms may be found at local churches, Horizon Health, Morrison County Public Health in the Government Center, the Little Falls Senior Center and the LFCHS. If one wishes to have a form e-mailed or faxed, contact Mary Kenna at (320) 631-5677 or [email protected].

The requests are due no later than Wednesday, April 11.

“We will be sending a postcard as a reminder to residents the week before the event,” said Kenna.

All the volunteers will be given a T-shirt, courtesy of FAB, the Little Falls Lions and Spectrum Printing.

The local businesses and organizations wishing to participate in the event have until Friday, April 13 to sign up. Those coordinating the event need to make sure every residence and park has volunteers and every volunteer has a destination.

Transportation to and from the project areas will be provided by both Strack and Palmer bus companies.

“We have great kids in Little Falls who are learning about service to their community,” said Kenna.

Bjorge said Wednesday, May 2, will be a regular school day, there just won’t be any academics. After a morning of cleaning, the volunteers will return to the high school for a picnic lunch of hamburgers and hot dogs, provided by Chartwells, Minnesota Power and Coborn’s. After the picnic, students will receive their yearbooks and the Student Council has planned an afternoon of music and games.