For many members of the UND community, images of the 1997 flood are permanently burned in their memories. "It's something that most, if not every Grand Forks resident remembers," said UND Staff Senate member Janice Hoffarth. "We want to help people in Minot rebuild their lives."
In addition to regular meetings once a month, UND Staff Senate, an elected body of staff members, hold some type of goodwill donation drive. "If there is anyone who knows what Minot is going through right now, it would be Grand Forks," said Hoffarth.
Armed with a fleet of red wagons, members of Staff Senate will be on hand to collect donations of household items in Saturday's Potato Bowl Parade. "We thought the parade would be perfect," said Hoffarth.
Donations of new household items and supplies will be accepted at Saturday's Potato Bowl Parade
Only items in their original packaging will be accepted
Cash and check (to "UND Staff Senate,") will be accepted
100% of the donations will go directly to Minot flood victims
The parade will pass though downtown Grand Forks and East Grand Forks at 10:30 a.m. this Saturday.
A donation "wish list" is available though Target online or in store. "People don't have to go though Target to donate," Senate Member Kristi Swartz said. The most important thing to understand is essential supplies like building materials and basic housewares are hard to come by in Minot, Swartz said.
"The (Minot flood victims) are spending their money on things like flooring and carpentry," said Hoffarth. "They consider things like blankets, pillows, rugs, and toasters 'luxury' items. Stuff that we would consider essential for day-to-day living."
Both Hoffarth and Swartz emphasized that they would like to accept new items (as opposed to hand-me-downs.) "Demand for certain items (paint, brushes, supplies) is very high in Minot."
Donations of cash or checks (made out to "UND Staff Senate") will also be collected at the parade. "100% of the donations go to Minot," said Hoffarth.