Hillsboro community day of service set Saturday

Sep 27, 2019 -- Posted by : compass1

By Cole Short, Hillsboro Banner

From raking leaves for neighbors to writing letters for veterans to picking up trash, residents in Hillsboro have a chance to give back to their community Saturday.

The city’s second annual community day of service kicks off at 8:30 a.m. Saturday with more than a half-dozen ways that locals can offer a helping hand to their neighbors.

“So many of us are blessed, but there are others who can’t do the things for themselves that they used to do,” Brenda Stallman, Traill District Health Unit administrator, said Tuesday.

“We want to help them sustain a better life. And, at the same time, this makes us feel better by giving back to our community.”

An outreach effort by Traill District Health Unit and the city’s four church congregations, Hillsboro’s first community day of service was held Oct. 18, 2018.

Organizers planning this year’s day of service bumped up the timeline for Saturday’s event by three weeks, in part to limit conflicts with Hillsboro-Central Valley sporting events.

The earlier kickoff will mean fewer leaves on the ground for volunteers armed with rakes.

But there are plenty of ways to improve the homes and yards of people who need help, Stallman said.

“We’ll be doing home projects for those who are unable to do them themselves, whether that’s cleaning or minor repairs or getting their homes ready for winter,” she said.

Volunteers interested in yard work are asked to bring gloves and a rake if they have one.

Ladders and other equipment for most projects will be provided, Stallman said.

In addition to yard work, other activities scheduled Saturday 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 7,500 meals a year ago. This year’s goal is 10,000, Stallman said.
  • Picking up garbage around the city, an effort being coordinated with the Hillsboro Park Board, Sanford Hillsboro Medical Center and Kiwanis Senior Housing.
  • Writing letters and cards for military veterans and first responders.
  • Collecting and stocking health and hygiene products inside purses, which will be donated to the Rape and Abuse Crisis Center in Fargo, Churches United for the Homeless and YWCA. The Purses for Promise project is a new addition to this year’s lineup of activities.

Refreshments for Saturday’s participants will be served 8:30-9 a.m.

Following a quick blessing, instructions will be given to volunteers, who will fan out across the city to perform their assigned tasks.

Activities will run until 11:30 a.m., when volunteers can return to the cafeteria for lunch.

Stallman said she’s expecting 50 to 60 volunteers Saturday, but more would be welcome.

“It feels good to help other people,” she said. “Bring a smile and make plans to have a good time.”