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May 21, 2009

Volunteerism Critical to Our Communities


One of the great parts of my job is interacting with people within our communities who are committed to making a difference and improving the lives of others.  There are countless people, young and old, giving back to our communities in so many ways.  This past month alone, I have visited a number of community programs €“ the River Falls Rotary Strive Program, the St. Croix County Aging & Disability Resource Center volunteer recognition luncheon, Osceola’s Standing Cedars conservation program, and the Community Referral Agency open house for domestic abuse victims in Siren €“ that are making an impact in their respective communities.  It is great to see the generosity and enthusiasm offered by volunteers and involved citizens who are positively impacting so many.


On May 15, I also had the pleasure of participating in the New Richmond Service Learning Day put on by the New Richmond High School.  This is a day when the entire student body is sent out to help with community projects.  Projects range from planting in the community garden to repainting school grounds and city streets to a car wash raising funds for local charities to helping at the local food shelf.  Teachers, administrators and parents have helped organize this community activity, now in its sixth year. 


The Service Learning Day is intended to emphasis the importance of service to others and translates classroom learning into real work situations.  As importantly, it connects adults and youth in New Richmond and is sponsored by local businesses.  It is impressive to see the spirit of the students and teachers at work.  The outreach creates a strong sense of community that I believe these students will remember for years to come. 

I commend the teachers, staff and all those at the New Richmond High School that helped make the event possible. 


Service Learning Day is one more example of the many good works that are being done in our communities and the importance and benefits of volunteerism.