Leadership students determined to make a difference
Scholar Thomas Paine wrote "We have it in our power to change the world over." A Minot State University leadership development class has equally grand ambitions, but on a smaller scale. They will start with Minot.
The class is hosting the first annual "Make-a-Difference Week" April 8-12. The leadership development initiative, funded by an endowment from MSU alumnus Roger Looyenga, was established to help business students develop a better understanding of self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and relationship management.
The class consists of two groups of students. Each group is organizing a unique service project to better the community.
One student group will host a food drive to support a local food pantry, The Lord's Cupboard, a subsidiary of "The Welcome Table."
"The Welcome Table" is an established, nonprofit organization currently seeking additional funding and a building in Minot. Its goal is to offer the food pantry, hot meal service, basic health care, education, social workers and a homeless shelter in one location. The Lord's Cupboard currently operates at 103 14th Ave. SW (next to Goodwill). Donations come from the Minot area, and it is volunteer operated. Financial qualifications are not required to visit the food pantry.
For the food drive, boxes will be located in MSU offices and residence halls and at 1st International Bank and Trust, Power Fuels, 1st Western Bank and Trust and all four Marketplace locations. The class seeks nonperishable items or monetary donations.
"The week's purpose is to apply leadership skills we have learned throughout the semester, while giving back to the community," says Ashley Maercklein, a cohort student. "In 2012, The Lord's Cupboard distributed 65,457 meals in Minot. Our goal is to raise as much as we can to help a food pantry that is doing so much for the community."
The second student group is hosting an Item Drive, during which they will canvas Minot to solicit toiletries or monetary donations for the Domestic Violence Crisis Center. Drop-off boxes will also be placed in MSU's Student Center.
DVCC was affected by the 2011 Mouse River Flood and has seen an increase in residents with the population increase. It recently opened a Transitional Living apartment complex and is in need of supplies for residents. Items needed include a Pack-N-Play, facial tissue, toilet paper, paper towels, light bulbs, trash bags, deodorant, cold medicine, hand lotion, baby lotion, hand and bath soap, shampoo, toothpaste and brushes, mops, buckets, dust pans, glass and bathroom cleaner, a vacuum cleaner, dryer sheets and a laundry basket.
DVCC provides a full range of services to domestic violence and sexual assault victims and seeks to reduce domestic violence by educating the public about its effects. The leadership cohort encourages the community to participate in making a difference.
For more information about The Lord's Cupboard or to donate, contact Jay Wahlund, accounting and finance professor, at 858-3207 or visit www.thewelcometableminot.org. For more information about the DVCC item drive, contact Tom Seymour, business information technology professor, at 858-3307.