A Helping Hand

Recently, I ran into a childhood friend at the grocery store. She mentioned how grateful she was that my parents helped her family in a time of need. Reflecting on my childhood, I have many memories of my parents helping families and friends when there was an illness, death in the family, or other hardship. They helped by bringing food, physical labor or a listening ear and expected nothing in return. They are both gone now, and I often reflect on the times they demonstrated the importance of family and the custom of a helping hand.

To this day, my family continues to offer a helping hand. We shovel our elderly neighbor’s driveway, watch the neighbor’s dog and will bring a meal to families experiencing an illness. We also volunteer for organizations in our community. We helped with Toys for Tots at Catholic Charities, The Good Shepherd’s Pub Crawl, packaged food for Kids Fighting Hunger and various school activities. It’s a great way to spend time as a family, meet new people and it gives me great comfort to help others.

There are many ways to volunteer. Central Minnesota offers volunteer opportunities for every one of all ages. Volunteer for your church or school, be a Big for Big Brothers Big Sisters, play games with residents at Country Manor, bake cookies at Quiet Oaks Hospice, help build a home with Habitat for Humanity, board member for a non-profit or get involved on a committee to plan a fundraisers or celebration. The options are endless. United Way’s website lists more than 80 agencies and over 200 volunteer opportunities to explore.  Give me a call. I enjoy talking and meeting with people to help find an opportunity that will fit their passion and time commitment.

To find a way to make a big impact and volunteer opportunity that is right for you, visit the United Way Volunteer Connection page. Volunteer for an organization that is important to you and make time to support your family, friends, neighbors and people on the street we do not know. The best New Year’s resolution is to provide a helping hand.

Written By: Mary Krippner, Volunteer Engagement Coordinator
320-223-7991 or mkrippner@unitedwayhelps.org