Several Ways To Help Your Community This Weekend
Inspired by the outpouring of community support from our neighbors earlier this year after the killing of George Floyd and the unrest that followed, the North Loop Neighborhood Association is working to keep that giving spirit going, by launching Service Saturdays. We’re organizing several different volunteer events on the same day, to let you choose how you’d like to help.
On our first Service Saturday, July 11th, here are the options:
9:00-10:00 Litter Pickup–Meet outside Corner Coffee (514 N 3rd St) and we’ll provide bags and gloves as you help keep our streets clean.
10:00-noon Park Clearing #1–Meet at the North Loop Playground (4th Av & West River Parkway) and we’ll provide tools and gloves as you help continue the work of clearing out the invasive vines and overgrowth, and open up our river views.
10:00-3:00 Blood Drive—Memorial Blood Centers will have their bloodmobile parked at Number 12 Cider (614 N 5th St) for much-needed blood donations. You may schedule your donation in advance. Any questions, contact Brian from Memorial Blood Centers at 651-332-7168 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
1:00-3:00 Donation Drive–Near the playground at James I. Rice Park (4th Av & West River Parkway) will be collecting donations to support the efforts of YouthLink, a North Loop outreach agency helping young people experiencing homelessness. Among the items needed: non-perishable foods, new t-shirts, socks and underwear in men’s and women’s sizes, gift cards, personal hygiene products, cleaning supplies and sunscreen. For ideas, they’ve posted an Amazon wish list.
1:00-3:00 Park Clearing #2–Meet at West River Parkway and Plymouth Avenue where tools and gloves will be provided as we focus on clearing out another section of the riverbank of invasive vines and overgrowth.
At each of these sites, we will also have voter registration tables. “Since COVID hit in March, voter registration is down 86%,” said Bri Sharkey-Smith, NLNA board member. “2020 is a pretty major year, and Minnesota has a lot of people to vote for: every single seat of our legislature is up for election, along with all our members of Congress, a Senate seat, and the Presidency. With so many opportunities to elect a representational government, I wanted to make sure we were doing our part to make sure everyone who can participate in our democracy gets to.”
The North Loop Neighborhood Association hopes to have one of these Service Saturdays each month. “Our vision is to make Service Saturdays social, inspiring, rewarding, and community-oriented,” said Jenn Brewington, NLNA board member. “My hope for participants is to recognize their own role as members of the community, understand the value and impact of service, demonstrate knowledge of community issues, needs, resources etc.”
By Mike Binkley, North Loop Neighborhood Association