• By Lauren Reeves

Minot State United Way chapter beginning Fall 2021 semester

As many students and teachers begin their plans for the next school year, clubs and organizations also prepare themselves for another year of events. This includes the Honors Program Community Problem-Solving course which is preparing to launch a new club on campus in the fall called MSU United Way.

The United Way is a nonprofit fundraising organization that helps local organizations and people in need. One program run by the United Way in Minot that students may already be familiar with is Backpack Buddies, where packages of food are distributed to local public school students below the poverty line every week, all year long.

The goal of MSU United Way is to get Minot State students involved in the community. The club will have involvement opportunities at both the university community level and the Minot level.

“Even if Minot isn’t your home, by being a student at MSU, you are a part of the Minot community,” said Caitlyn Poole, president of MSU United Way. “Minot has people and organizations in need, and helping to fill those needs should be a goal of any active community member. Minot is well known by those who visit as a place where people are helpful even when there may be no benefit to them, often referred to as North Dakota nice. We want students to be North Dakota nice and help improve our community and our campus one project at a time.”

For activities and events that the club will be involved in, Poole stated that students can expect volunteer opportunities like helping to pack for Backpack Buddies at the Souris Valley United Way in town, cleanup projects, mural projects, or soup kitchen volunteering.

“There may also be fundraising opportunities to help local organizations or campus projects in need,” said Pool. “Many of the activities performed by the club will be decided based on the passions of the members. If there’s something the members want to do and there is an opportunity to act on it, the club will most likely engage.”

Something that Poole hopes students will learn from the club is to make the community they are a part of better.

“I hope students will learn one vital thing from this club. Leave everywhere and everyone you encounter just a little bit better than before,” said Poole. “We all have the opportunity to do our part, small or large. We are able to touch the lives of so many by committing even the smallest acts. Maybe you aren’t able to volunteer much of your time — consider picking up a piece of trash as you walk by, or giving a kind comment to someone who needs it. We never know how significant our impact can be, but not even trying is the greatest fault we can make.”

Students who want to know more about the club can reach out to Kristi Berg, College of Business professor, at kristi.berg@minotstateu.edu.

The club will be hosting a scavenger hunt event this semester from April 21 to May 5 that features businesses that give back to the community. Keep an eye on MSU Life social media and hallway bulletin boards for more information coming soon. There will be prize drawings for participants, featuring a $100 Visa gift card.

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