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United Way Rallies Volunteers for annual Day of Action: June 2v
United Way Day of Action is an annual event when United Ways throughout the world harness the power of volunteers to positively change communities. This summer, on June 21st, United Way of 1000 Lakes will mobilize hundreds of volunteers to participate in Day of Action projects focused on promoting healthy and active lifestyles for residents of greater Itasca County.

 “The Day of Action is a way for all sectors of our community to unite and work towards accomplishing the common vision of helping others. What you see today is a living testimony of our organization’s mission: to improve lives mobilizing the caring power of our communities,” said Kimberly Brink Smith, United Way executive director.

United Way of 1000 Lakes is coordinating several hands on projects from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (check-in begins at 8:30 a.m.), as well as a community-wide Personal Care Drive June 1st- 21st, to help vulnerable children and adults at risk of meeting their basic needs, including personal care products. The care items will be redistributed to United Way’s nonprofit partners serving disconnected youth, veterans and the homeless throughout the Itasca area.

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United Way of 1000 Lakes celebrates its volunteers
The United Way of 1000 Lakes understands the importance of volunteers.

Within each of the 25 non-profit organizations supported by the United Way in Itasca County, hundreds of volunteers give their time to transform their community and support social causes.  They mentor youth, cook meals for the homeless, and fundraise.  They paint and clean up community spaces, and offer companionship to senior citizens. 

“Volunteers really are the center of our community,” said Kimberly Brink-Smith, Director of the United Way of 1000 Lakes. “They are an essential part of the success of United Way and the programs we support.” 

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United Way celebrates campaign with annual awards
It was an evening of celebration and recognition on March 24 as United Way of 1,000 Lakes hosted the annual Campaign Celebration and Best of Awards at the Timberlake Lodge in Grand Rapids. More than 250 investors, grantees, and partners attended the celebration, which included the presentation of awards recognizing the contributions of Itasca area workplaces during the 2015-16 campaign.

While celebrating record-breaking support of its annual community campaign, which raised a grand total of over $294,000, the event raised an additional $5,000 through a Plaid Challenge presented by Minnesota Power. The company pledged $25 for every guest donning plaid that evening.

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United Way of 1000 Lakes to host campaign celebration
GRAND RAPIDS – United Way of 1000 Lakes will host their annual Campaign Celebration and Best of Awards on March 24, 2016 from 4:30-6:30 at Timberlake Lodge to announce campaign results and recognize outstanding community partners and volunteers. The event will feature local jazz guitarist, Sam Miltich, and keynote speaker Al Hodnik, President and CEO of ALLETE. 

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United Way campaign advances forward, reaches 90%
The community has spent the last three months as part of a widespread effort to help Change the Story for our neighbors. We’ve met Chelsi and Sandy, who represent more than twenty thousand people helped annually because of your support of United Way.

As the New Year gets underway, the community has generously and selflessly contributed more than $261,000 to help others in 2016. This number is a reflection of the generosity of our community, who recognizes the continued needs within the community. United Way aims to raise enough funds to reach last year’s campaign total of $289,000, which will allow the organization to continue funding its agencies at the same level.

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United Way engages community in conversation centered on race and equity
“I’m so proud of Grand Rapids in being a progressive community – willing to have a conversation like this” said Peter Birkey, Board Vice President, United Way of 1000 Lakes and event moderator for a special forum on inequities in education, employment and health at the Timberlake Lodge Hotel.

A live stream of the “Cultivating Conditions for Change: A Forum on Race & Equity,” hosted by the Greater Twin Cities United Way in Minneapolis, kicked off the morning. In his opening remarks, emcee Reg Chapman of WCCO-TV called out to those participating in the forum in Grand Rapids.

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