My submission into the 2017 "Pay It Forward" Challenge by Belinda Spillman is KHRT Radio's HORN OF PLENTY program.
This is a HUGE program that benefits approximately 350 local families.
The volunteering began last week with hot dog sales at Marketplace Foods.
Marketplace Foods has 4 stores in Minot (they pretty much own the market) and they are out of Bemidji MN. They are very generous to the Minot community. During the Horn Of Plenty kick off week they donate everything needed for this portion of the fundraiser (the hot dogs, buns, condiments, and pop) and then volunteers sell them over the weekend for $1.00 and all the proceeds go to The Horn Of Plenty. I volunteered for two such shifts. It was a blast meeting people and watching their generosity, many giving $10.00 instead of $1.00.
Then, prompted by requests, many people gives toys, nonperishable food items, and cash to The Horn Of Plenty. Marketplace foods also plays a part in this stage by offering needed food items at a very discounted prices and also offering drop-off tubs for the donations.
The next stage is the warehouse stage. Some large business (it seems to change every year) offers a space for sorting items and assembling baskets for distribution. If memory serves me correctly they need about 75,000 square feet.
At this point another couple hundred volunteers come in to do the sorting. I know that every year many Lutheran denominations require their confirmands to help with this as a "servant event" in order to be confirmed. There may be many more denominations involved but I know my kids were required each of the 3 years of their confirmation class to help (and they loved it). I also remember several sorting nights were no travel was advised because it took place during a blizzard on occasion.
The final stage of The Horn Of Plenty is the effort to provide each family with a spiritual gift. A plea is sent out for people to give a $20.00 donation to include The Wayfinding Bible (this year). It is not unusual for people to give $200.00 so that 20 families will receive this spiritual gift.
As you can see this is a HUGE community event that is only made possible by the help and generosity of many people. I'm always glad to be part of it by standing out in public selling hot dogs for 4 hours at a time. I also give as I can and of course... eat a few hot dogs.
1600 2nd Ave SW (The Arrowhead Shopping Center)
Minot North Dakota 58701
Call 701-852-1197 or text 701-720-8513