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All Hands Volunteers, Project Minot, volunteering

Extra-curricular volunteering

Obviously what I am here in Minot for is finding and coordinating as many volunteers as possible. These volunteers are busting a gut every day to get as many houses as possible mucked and gutted before it snows. And remember it snows early here. Sometimes though it is just as valuable to take time out of this frantic slog through paperwork and drywall to help someone, just one person, with the thing it is that they just can’t do. It’s the simplest form of volunteering. Something anyone can do whether they are on a volunteer project or not.

Earlier this week I spent an hour phoning electicians and plumbers for an 81 year old woman because she was hard of hearing, had lost her phone in the flood and didn’t know how to use a mobile. Today I accompanied a man to the Salvation Army center after he’d been sent to the wrong place by al the previous people he’d asked. When we arrived he was handed a form. He looked at me and said, “You may as well fill this out too, seeing as you’re here!” then he offered to take me to dinner with is wife, to whom he’d been married for 54 years.

There are so many people here to help but everyone has a specific job to do and no one has the time to lend a hand to the residents who are struggling not to fall through the gaps. Hopefully here on Project Minot we can give people the space to help out with whatever needs they come across in e community. Of course our focus should be the manual stuff we came to do but the neediest people won’t get the help they need if we can’t take the time to help them get it.

The people on this project know how lucky they are that they are able to be here doing great work, not everyone has the time or the money. But there must be needs wherever you are so try to spare five minutes to lend a hand if you see someone who needs it.

Ok, getting down off my high horse now! Lecture over.


About Jess UK

Fell in love with the crazy, inspiring, all-or-nothing world of disaster response and the wonderfully ridiculous, hard-working people who are drawn to it. Currently working in the Philippines as part of the recovery efforts after Typhoon Washi/Sendong! Want to know more? Check out disasterchasers.wordpress.com.


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