To the editor:

For more than six months now, a group of dedicated citizens has been meeting in training sessions, led by the Blandin Foundation, to learn how to be more effective as community leaders. Their goal? Eliminate poverty in Red Wing.

You may say that they are dreamers, but ... they believe once you understand the costs to all citizens of having people living in poverty you will join in the dream.

Hands for Hope will hosting a free community celebration 2-5 p.m. June 29 at Colvill Park. There will be food and beverages, facepainting and other kid friendly events. There will be a drawing for some wonderful gift baskets.

And Hands for Hope members will be there to discuss the issues of poverty, particularly - lack of affordable housing, youth mentoring, the opportunity gap, financial literacy, and emergency housing for the homeless.

We need the input from concerned citizens to move ahead with our dream. Please come.

John Parkes

Red Wing

John Parkes is the Goodhue County Habitat for Humanity executive director.