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Community Connections: Volunteerism

“The measure of a life, after all, is not its duration, but its donation.” – Corrie Ten Boom

“Minnesota Nice” and volunteerism — how does Minnesota rate? According to the latest stats from the Corporation for National and Community Service, 70 percent of Minnesota residents engage in “informal volunteering,” and over 35 percent volunteer through organizations, ranking Minnesota fourth among the 50 states and Washington, DC. In addition, almost 61 percent donate to charities. That is pretty impressive.  It’s a privilege to live in an area where so many folks care, and give of their time and money to make a difference in the life of others. Are you interested in joining in? If so, please check out the opportunities listed below, or call 218-879-9238. We will work to find a good volunteer match for you.


Refire!:  Volunteer Services of Carlton County is hosting weekly meetings, featuring a delicious buffet luncheon prepared by The Public House, and guest speakers or entertainment each week. The meetings encourage a healthy lifestyle and are geared toward adults 55 and over, although everyone is welcome. Cost of meal is $5 for age 55 and older; $10 for all others. Please join us Mondays at noon at The Public House, 214 Chestnut Ave., Carlton.Weekly pre-registration is required. Please call 218-879-9238 by Friday afternoons to register. Please check out Volunteer Services’ Facebook page or callthe above number for more information.

Carlton County’s Outstanding Senior Citizen Awards:  The time for nominations for 2016 Senior Citizen Awards for Carlton County is soon coming to a close. The award recognizes outstanding male and female senior citizens who have contributed their time and talent to benefit their community after reaching the age of 65. (Nominees must be age 70 by June 1, 2016, or older.) Official nomination forms are available by contacting Volunteer Services of Carlton County at 218-879-9238, or by stopping by our office at 199 Chestnut Ave., Ste. 3, Carlton.  Please return all nomination forms to Volunteer Services by July 15.  


  • Adopt-a-Lawn —Assist with lawn mowing, either as a one-time service event or on a regular basis.  Flexible time commitment.

  • Brickyard Days —Seeking volunteers to assist in various capacities with Brickyard Days Aug. 6 in Wrenshall.

  • Adoption Counselor/Receptionist/Volunteer Coordinator/Website Management — Local animal shelter is seeking volunteers willing to help match clients with adoptive animals, help with clerical duties, coordinate junior volunteers, and also to assist with maintaining their website. Website maintenance time commitment very flexible and can be done from home. Time commitments for other opportunities also flexible.

  • Dishwasher — Local thrift store seeks volunteers to wash dishes and shelve newly donated items.

  • Food Booth at County Fair —The Carlton Lions Club is seeking volunteers to assist at their food booth Thursday, Aug. 18, through Sunday, Aug. 21, at the Carlton County Fair.

  • Horse Leaders/Sidewalkers/Administrative — North Country RIDE is seeking volunteers to assist various times and sessions during the riding season. Opportunities are available through October.  

  • Volunteer Guardians — Seeking individuals with the desire to advocate for an adult person who may not be able to represent themselves. Training is provided. Small time requirement and flexible schedule.

If you are interested in volunteering or would like more information, please call Volunteer Services and ask for Cathy Niemi, RSVP director, at 218-879-9238.

Writer Cathy Niemi is the director of the Aitkin-Carlton County Retired Senior Volunteer Program, operated through Volunteer Services of Carlton County, Inc. She can be contacted at 218-879-9238.