Millstream Arts Fest scheduled for Sept. 28
Downtown St. Joseph will be packed Sunday, Sept. 28 with the return of the Millstream Arts Festival, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. along Minnesota Street. The event features a festive environment with a wide variety of visual arts, music, dance, enticing foods and hands-on art activities for children. There’s something for everyone! For more information, visit www.millstreamartsfestival.org.
City of St. Stephen to host citywide garage sales
The annual citywide garage sale weekend in St. Stephen will be Thursday-Saturday, Sept. 25-27. Individual sales will be marked.
Senior Connection hosts ‘Celebration of Fall’
Sartell Senior Connection presents “A Celebration of Fall” from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 20 at the Sartell-St. Stephen District Service Center, 212 3rd Ave. N., Sartell. Featuring a large book, holiday/seasonal items, handmade crafts, card and garage sale. Free coffee and cookies. Enter door 7 on the south side of the gym. proceeds support Sartell Senior Connection.
Register early for “Active Aging Week”
Sartell Senior Connection and the International Council of Aging present “Active Aging Week,” Sept. 21-26. Movies, canoe lessons, mahjong demonstration, Taichi, bowling, torch-run presentation, trivia along with hiking and a free picnic. Participants must register ahead of time by calling 320-253-4036 opt. 4. For detailed information on events, go to www.sartellseniorconnection.com.
Health Fair set Sept. 26
Free health screenings will be given for people 50 years or older this month at the Traveling Health and Screening Fair from 8 a.m. to noon Friday, Sept. 26 at Heritage Hall in the Church of St. Joseph. Screenings for balance, blood pressure, cognition, diabetes, nutrition and weight are available, as well as education about driving, home design, vision, vaccinations and more.
Habitat for Humanity looking for potential homeowners
Central Minnesota Habitat for Humanity will host several public information meetings to inform potential homeowners about the eligibility and application process for homeownership. Two of the meetings are at 12:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 22 at the Great River Regional Library, 1300 W. St. Germain, St. Cloud. Another is at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 23 at Rejoice Lutheran Church, 1155 CR 75 NW, Clearwater. If you have ever wondered if you could qualify to purchase a Habitat home, come to a meeting and find out. Each meeting will last 30 minutes with time afterward for questions. Anyone that will be listed on the mortgage must attend one meeting in order to receive a pre-application. If you have more questions about the Public Information Meetings or Central Minnesota Habitat for Humanity, please visit our website at www.cmhfh.org or call us at 320-248-7812.
About Central Minnesota Habitat for Humanity
An affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, CMHFH gathers communities to transform lives through homeownership. Founded in 1989, the affiliate has partnered with communities in Stearns, Benton, Sherburne and Wright counties and sold more than 75 houses to low-income families. CMHFH’s tithing program has helped build more than 86 homes in Costa Rica, Paraguay, El Salvador and Nicaragua, as well. Habitat homeowner families are selected based on need, their ability to pay back zero-interest mortgages and their willingness to partner as each adult Habitat homeowner works 200 “sweat equity” hours on their homes and attends homeowner education classes. For more information, please visit www.cmhfh.org.
About Habitat for Humanity International
Habitat for Humanity International is a global nonprofit Christian housing organization that seeks to put God’s love into action by bringing people together to build homes, communities and hope. Since 1976, Habitat has partnered with more than 800,000 families by welcoming people of races, religions and nationalities to construct, rehabilitate or preserve homes; by advocating for fair and just housing policies; and by providing training and access to resources to help families improve their shelter conditions. For more information, to donate or to volunteer, please visit www.habitat.org.
Library urges to sign up for card
September is national Library Card Sign-up Month. Across the country, libraries are reminding their communities about the benefits of owning and using a library card.
In Central Minnesota, residents need only provide a valid Minnesota ID with current address (or photo ID with secondary current address documentation) to receive their library card. The card provides access to items owned by Great River Regional Library at its 32 locations, and access via interlibrary loan to items on library shelves across Minnesota and even out-of-state. Approximately 960,000 items are available within Great River Regional Library via the online catalog including the following: books, from board books to large print; music CDs, including classic rock, soundtracks, and sentimental favorites; DVDs, with blockbusters, how-to and foreign films; magazines; audiobooks on CD; a growing digital library of downloadable books and audiobooks; library computers, printers and copiers; and Internet access through each branch library’s wireless connection.
Studies show children who are read to in the home and who use the library perform better in school and are more likely to continue to use the library as a source of lifetime learning. They are more likely to grow up as readers, and readers are more likely to be productive members of our society. In other words, libraries are good for the community.
The library’s preschool programs help develop reading readiness and are a fun way for kids and families to make connections. Author presentations and book clubs provide opportunities for community engagement that keeps older Minnesotans young at heart. And in between, teens and adults can share their enthusiasm in arts and crafts classes, as well as movie nights, anime clubs and other fun programming. The library is a safe place and a welcoming place for the community.
Libraries are tax supported, so residents are able to enjoy library resources without additional charge. The process to get a card takes only 10 minutes to complete. Get your library card today to enjoy of the benefits a library card provides.
For information about library programs and activities, visit the library website at griver.org.
Take a kid small-game hunting
By Mike Kurre, DNR mentoring program coordinator
Take a Kid Hunting Weekend is Saturday, Sept. 20, to Sunday, Sept. 21, and as mentoring program coordinator with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, I encourage you to take advantage of the opportunity to make some memories and pass on your outdoor passion.
During the weekend, adult residents, accompanied by a youth under age 16, can hunt small game without a license, but must comply with open seasons, limits and other regulations.
I’ve never seen a picture of a kid without a big smile while holding their first grouse, squirrel, rabbit or duck. By introducing a young person to hunting, you can complete the circle – because at one time, someone probably introduced you to hunting. In my own life, that person was Uncle Ed. He showed me the ropes to get ready for grouse hunting, and he changed my life forever.
I remember my first grouse like it was yesterday. I was sneaking down the Bass Lake Trail outside of Ely and looking around the bend like Uncle Ed taught me. Lo and behold, there was a grouse picking at clover and grit alongside the trail. I raised my trusty .22 rifle that showed plenty of wear from practicing, and checked to make sure of my target and what was beyond. Bang, the shot was true. Grouse for dinner!
What a proud moment. The firearms training and the one-on-one practical experience my uncle shared with me really paid off. My first ruffed grouse, and to be the provider for a family meal – well, maybe it was just a snack for everybody but it was a true high point in my short life.
I was lucky my uncle and parents were willing to provide the knowledge needed to make a successful adventure. They made sure I had boots that didn’t leak, the proper ammunition to harvest the game, and they insisted I carry a compass and know how to use it. Mom recommended dressing in layers for a day full of long walks and grandma provided plenty of snacks and a hearty lunch. These were keys to keeping our energy up and experiencing a great day afield.
Even though I completed a firearms safety course, I did have to prove to my uncle I could handle that old reliable .22 with the utmost safety and accuracy. So before we even hit the trails, we took aim in an old gravel pit to prove I knew proper safety techniques and I could hit the broad side of a barn.
A year later, I found a single shot 20-gauge shotgun under the Christmas tree and a few years later, Uncle Ed and I traded firearms – the single shot for his pump 20-gauge. I was on top of the world! Now I was a big-time hunter.
To this day, I cherish the time I spent with Uncle Ed. The good times of close encounters with wild game and wild places were amazing, and the knowledge he passed on to me has stuck. Now I’m passing those same skills on to families, kids and adults. The circle is complete. How about you?
Take a step back with a youth or a family member. Try starting them out hunting small game, which can be a stepping stone toward oftentimes challenging big-game hunting.
Think about your fondest memories. I’m betting many of them took place in the outdoors. Make some life-long memories this fall. For if you don’t, who will?
Halen’s Hankies of Hope, a non-profit that gives assistance to families touched by childhood cancer, is hosting a garage sale from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday ad Saturday, Sept. 19 and 20 in the Merchant Building at the Benton County Fairgrounds, 1410 3rd Ave., Sauk Rapids. Items being sold include jewelry, children’s and baby’s clothes, office supplies, pottery, antiques and more. Funds raised will be used to purchase gas and grocery cards to assist paying bills for families in need. For more detailed information or to learn more about Halen’s Hankies of Hope, visit www.halenshankiesofhope.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the spirit of honoring those family caregivers of our nation’s heroes, the St. Cloud VA Health Care System will host a Celebration of Caregivers event from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, Sept. 26 in Building 96 on the St. Cloud VA Medical Center campus, located at 4801 Veterans Drive in St. Cloud. VA provides a number of services to support and educate Caregivers of Veterans. Attendees can learn about these services, network with other Caregivers of Veterans and discover tips for self-care.
This program is free and light refreshments will be served.
Caregivers of veterans injured post-9/11 may be eligible for additional VA services, including a stipend and comprehensive caregiver training.
The event is hosted by Jess Behrends, LICSW, the St. Cloud Caregiver Support Coordinator, who acts as a point of resource and referral for caregivers of veterans. She can help caregivers access various services for their veterans within the VA.
The VA has established a toll-free Caregiver Support Line 855-260-3274 and a website http://www.caregiver.va.gov to provide additional resources and support to caregivers.
United Way Volunteer Opportunities
Seeking student volunteers
CentraCare is currently accepting applications for their Student Volunteer Program. This is a unique opportunity for a condensed and meaningful healthcare volunteer experience. Volunteer 4-8 hours a week for a total of 80+ hours. Volunteer shifts are 8 a.m.–noon, noon-4 p.m., with limited 4-8 p.m. shifts. Opportunities are available at St. Cloud Hospital and CentraCare Health Plaza. Learning tracks include: administrative assistance, patient experience and retail. Volunteers are a valuable part of the health-care team that shares a common objective of providing care above for patients, clients and their families. Volunteering is the perfect way to make a difference in people’s lives, put your talents to use, develop new skills and even explore careers. Volunteer opportunities are available at a variety of CentraCare Health locations. Call CentraCare St. Cloud Hospital Volunteer Services at 320-255-5638 or email email@example.com.
Reading Buddy at Roosevelt Boys and Girls Club
Help a child read and volunteer in our Super Readers program. A volunteer is needed to listen to children read on a one-to one basis, spending 10 minutes per child. Volunteers must be patient and comfortable working in an active environment; however reading does take place in a quiet space. Reading takes place from 4-6 p.m. Thursdays during the academic year at their Roosevelt location. Volunteers must be able to relate well with children in a group environment, participate as an active team member with staff and other volunteers, and abide by volunteer policies. They require a minimum commitment of 20 hours over a three-month period. Volunteers will need to go through an enrollment process (includes interview and orientation). Volunteers are asked to complete a criminal background check before their first volunteer experience. Apply on their website at www.bgcmn.org. Contact Bethany Theisen at 320-257-5115 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Share your talent at Quiet Oaks
Volunteers are an essential part of the Quiet Oaks Hospice House family. Volunteers help the “home away from home” experience. Whether your talent is baking pies or planting gardens, sewing quilts or quiet conversation, they need you on their team. Contact Eileen Bitzan, Quiet Oaks Hospice and Respite Care, at 320-255-5433 Ext. 2.
Volunteers sought to Job Seeker Prep Kits
RESOURCE helps job seekers succeed by providing them with organization materials that will aid in their search in Central Minnesota. Job Seeker Prep Kits should include some combination of the following: -ring binders, folder or pad folio; daily planner and/or address book; pen(s); notepad; breath mints; flash drive. Other possibilities include the following: wallet, ties, socks, scarves. Groups choosing to participate in this activity should plan to make a minimum of 15 kits. They are able to accept up to 300 kits at one time, potentially more. Contact Samantha Sleeman, Resource, at 612-752-8030.
For more information, contact Mary Krippner, United Way Volunteer Engagement Coordinator at 320-223-7991 or email@example.com.
CentraCare Health offers food allergy workshop