A Community’s Need Opens Students’ Eyes

Posted by on July 15, 2011

Minnesota School of Business students learn about Elk River families’ needs through volunteering

When Harvest Outreach contacted Minnesota School of Business–Elk River to organize a coat drive, students embraced the call to action. They knew the project would be a challenge, but they didn’t know it would change their lives.

“It brings your awareness to the forefront,” said Karri Saar, student. “I grew up in Elk River and never knew there was this kind of need until my experience with this project.”

Along with instructor Nicole Rasmussen, Saar and 27 classmates created an action plan to collect winter jackets, hats, mittens and boots for Harvest Outreach to distribute to families in need.

Through donation boxes placed at area businesses and the campus student lounge, students collected more than 200 winter clothing items. Students then took the items to Cornerstone Carwash where they sorted, tagged and hung the items for distribution.

Many students also sorted through food and prepared boxes for those residents who couldn’t put together their own.

“The group did an excellent job and were enthusiastic and hard working,”  said Anne Nelson, Harvest Outreach Volunteer Coordinator. “I also think they were amazed at the magnitude of the process.”

Harvest Outreach, a subdivision of RiverCenter International Network of Christians, distributes a surplus of food and household products for free to families in-need every month. Each year, they provide coats to families who lack warm clothing for the cold winter months.

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