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On June 21st all over the world, more than 30,000 volunteers in over 400 communities set out on a mission to create meaningful work for the communities in which they live. On a local level, over 122 volunteers of all ages fanned out to places like Lion’s Park, Lundeen Ball Field, and the Second Harvest Food Bank.

A collective 582 hours of service was garnered throughout the day at Deer River and Grand Rapids locations. Based on current value of a volunteer hour at $24.14, as determined by the nonprofit Points of Light, this equates to more than $14,000 in contributions.

Projects for the day included prepping for a community garden, painting park benches at Lundeen Ball Field, packing bulk food at Second Harvest Food Bank, cleaning up green-space with Habitat for Humanity, installing cement pad for a new accessible swing at Lion’s Park in Deer River, hanging environmental prompts and distributing walking maps to downtown businesses with GetFit Itasca, and creating care packs from hundreds of items collected during the Health & Hygiene Personal Care Drive. Packages will be distributed to children, veterans, elderly, homeless and vulnerable populations throughout United Way of 1000 Lakes’ Itasca County service area.

Volunteer teams that participated in the day included Minnesota Power, Kiesler Wellness, Itasca Youth For Christ, Grace House, Habitat for Humanity, Support Within Reach, Salvation Army, MDI, Blandin Foundation, KOOTASCA, ASV, Essentia Health, Greenway Hockey and Cheerleaders, Deer River Northern Stars 4-H, Target, Boys & Girls Club of Deer River, and Deer River Area Health Care Foundation.

Our generous sponsor Cenex also provided lunch to our volunteers. Essentia Health and staff also provided first aid support throughout the day. Special thanks to our other sponsors including Arrowhead Embroidery, Deer River Chamber of Commerce, ASV, GetFit Itasca and Paul Bunyan Communications.

For information about United Way volunteer opportunities, contact 218-999-7570 or info@unitedwayof1000lakes, or visit

About United Way of 1000 Lakes
United Way of 1000 Lakes is the leader in mobilizing resources of individuals, companies, government and local organizations, igniting community collaboration for change in support of the building blocks for a good quality life – success in school; financial stability; access to care; and making healthy lifestyle choices. United way invites everyone to join the movement. Visit


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