When was the last time you made a difference?

I helped an autistic student go through the middle school because it was his first year here. I invited him to sit next to me and my buddies at lunch so he had friends. I’ve never done that before. It was really interesting and I got a new friend out of it.

Jaden Stephenson

New Richmond

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My grandma donated funds to Ruby’s Pantry so I volunteered to help at the pantry. I help with a lot of different things. I pull carts, I collect empty boxes, I help people with extra shares go through the line. I’ve been helping for about a year. It makes me feel good to see people happy that they’re getting food to put in their fridge.

Brody Parkin

New Richmond

Last week I helped a friend with her algebra and she was able to pass a math quiz. I’m kind of good at math. I help her because she helps me with other things and I want to pay her back. Friends helping friends, makes me feel good.

Cali Watters

New Richmond

I finally decided to do some house cleaning and I ended up donating a ton of furniture items to veterans. It took me a little while to work up to do the cleaning, but I feel fortunate and just want to share. They came and picked it up. Not only did I clean, I was able to help someone else.

Linda Oberembt

Somerset

We’re doing a memorial piece for a woman from the community whose 14-year-old son just passed away. We’re tattooing a butterfly in memorial to Benjamin and then his name and birth and death dates. It allows her to keep something with her forever just to remind her of him. Unfortunately, it was suicide.

Taya Chevrette

Somerset

This is my second year being a school bus driver for the New Richmond School District. I saw they needed drivers, so I went and talked to them. I was skeptical at first. I drive kids K-12. The hardest part was dropping them off in the afternoon because I had no idea where they lived. But they did let me know when I missed their stop. It was like having 30-some copilots. Now I’m pretty comfortable with the route. By the end of the year, we were pretty much pals. It’s rewarding. We develop a rapport and a sense of respect both ways, absolutely. The kids are awesome.

Rodney Peters

Emerald

We were at the farmers market here in town and I was walking past a street gutter and there was a whole bunch of plastic that had collected on the grate. So I picked it up and threw it in the garbage so it didn’t end up in our waterways. It took two seconds. I do it because I have to do my part. I can’t change the world, but I can change my little space.

Melanie Dunn

New Richmond

I had someone request me as a tutor all summer. I just thought, OK, I’ll just read with her and do what I’ve been trained to do. I was amazed when the parents told me about what they saw in their child and what she had retained and how she had grown over the summer in her level of reading and her “okayness” with reading. She didn’t hate it. She loved it and she was continuing to read longer books. They said it made such a difference, my time and how I interacted with her..

Rachael Marrier

Woodbury, Minn.

I just made one year post kidney transplant and we went to Green Bay to celebrate. I made a sign to honor my angel who gave me her kidney, 13-year-old Ambrosia. I did not know her. She passed away. She was 13 and she had cystic fibrosis and emphysema. She made a difference in my life.

Diane Martin

Somerset