Organizers plan citywide day of service

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Posted: Friday, August 2, 2019 6:00 am

Sponsors and volunteers are being sought to take part in a second annual community day of service Saturday, Sept. 28 in Hillsboro.

More than 60 residents raked leaves, picked up trash and packed meals during last October’s citywide day of service, which was coordinated by Hillsboro’s four church congregations and Traill District Health Unit.

This year’s outreach effort will be held three weeks earlier than 2018’s event and include new opportunities for participants interested in giving back to their community.

“We were really happy with how things turned out last year, but there were a number of conflicts that came up with sporting events and tournaments,” Brenda Stallman, Traill District Health Unit administrator, said Monday.

“We’re hoping to have less of those this year and we felt that by holding it in September, there was less of a gamble with the weather.”

Projects slated to be included in this year’s community day of service include:

  • Packing nonperishable food baskets headed for Liberia, Africa through the nonprofit Mercy Meals. Volunteers huddled inside the lunchroom at Hillsboro Elementary School packaged nearly 7,000 meals a year ago. Stallman said organizers would like to bump that meal number to 10,000 if more volunteers turn out for this year’s effort.
  • Picking up garbage around the city, an effort being coordinated with the Hillsboro Park Board, Sanford Hillsboro Medical Center and Kiwanis Senior Housing.
  • Cleaning up yards, washing windows and light maintenance for the city’s elderly or disabled residents. Dozens of volunteers cleared fallen apples and raked leaves from yards in town last year. The earlier kickoff of this year’s event may mean fewer leaves and less raking, but Stallman said she’s hopeful residents emerge who need a hand with their yards. “If people need any kind of light maintenance, we’re hoping they sign up,” she said.
  • Writing letters and cards for military veterans, first responders and the elderly. “It’s a good project for people who can’t be as physically involved compared to the other activities,” Stallman said.
  • Collecting and stocking personal items inside purses, which will be donated to the Rape and Abuse Crisis Center in Fargo, Churches United for the Homeless and YWCA. The purse project will be a new addition to this year’s lineup of activities.

This year’s day of service has a $3,500 budget to help pay for supplies and lunch costs for volunteers, although more donations and sponsorships are welcome, Stallman said.

Donations can be dropped off at Traill District Health Unit inside the Traill County Courthouse in Hillsboro or with participating churches.

Stallman, Traill County Veterans Service Officer Rebecca Hogdson and members from the city’s four congregations including Pastor Julie Johnson, Curt Kaufman, Stacey Riemer and Katie Reese are coordinating the day of service.

Although the hours of the outreach project in September haven’t been set, last year’s event ran from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m.

Stallman said organizers received positive feedback from last year’s day of service and were anxious to give the event another go in Hillsboro.

“Volunteers had a lot of fun last year and people leave feeling so much better than when they came. It was a really good day for everybody,” she said.

“Everybody who came a year ago left with a smile on their face and wanted to do it again.”

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