GIVE Gathering Provides Volunteer Opportunities

(Due to inclement weather, this event has been rescheduled for 6-8 p.m. Monday, April 29, at the Eden Prairie City Center, 8080 Mitchell Road.)

Have you been looking for a meaningful opportunity to help others? If so, the Eden Prairie Community Foundation, Eden Prairie Schools Community Education and the City of Eden Prairie invite you to attend The GIVE Gathering.

The GIVE Gathering is a free, open-house event from 6-8 p.m. Thursday, April 11, that showcases diverse volunteer opportunities available at more than 40 local organizations, mostly nonprofits.

One of the participating organizations is the Nine Mile Creek Watershed District. This organization works to study and clean local waters and educate others on water stewardship. According to Education and Outreach Coordinator Gael Zembal, “It’s a big job to keep lakes and creeks clean, and we really need everyone to take part.”

Nine Mile Creek Watershed District seeks volunteers to help ongoing water study projects such as for their CAMP program. In this program, volunteers collect water samples to help with ongoing studies. Other volunteer opportunities include one-day events like the cleaning up the headwaters in Hopkins on May 4 and ongoing planting events to help revitalize the watershed.

Nine Mile Creek Watershed District is also looking for students and young adults to help with their Adopt-a-Drain campaign. This includes stenciling and putting up no-dumping stickers on sewers that drain to the Nine Mile Creek. “We would love families to come out and train the next generation in stewardship,” says Zembal.

Another nonprofit at The GIVE Gathering will be Helping Paws, which specializes in training assistance dogs.

Helping Paws needs foster homes for their puppies. Foster home families and individuals train dogs for 18 months to two years to become service animals. Helping Paws provides all of the training necessary for this program and invites families and empty nesters to try out foster home training.

Helping Paws Social Media and Volunteer Coordinator Brenda Hawley says that the experience of fostering is extremely rewarding. She states that volunteer foster trainers “are giving a life-changing gift to those who need it, which gives others independence.”

The GIVE Gathering will be held in the Eden Prairie City Center Atrium and Heritage Rooms at 8080 Mitchell Road. All ages are invited, and you can stop in anytime between 6 and 8 p.m., when organizations will have information tables you can visit. While you are there, tour the Eden Prairie History Museum.

There are also two service projects that evening. One is available to all ages: coloring and decorating note cards that PROP, the local social-service organization, uses to communicate with clients. A couple of tables will be set aside for anyone who wishes to help. The other service project is blood donations at a Memorial Blood Centers bloodmobile that will be parked at The GIVE Gathering from 5 to 8 p.m. For more information and to make a blood-donation appointment, go to www.mbcherohub.club and then use the unique sponsor code 4721 to make an appointment to donate blood in The GIVE Gathering bloodmobile sponsored by the Foundation.

You can download the list of organizations participating in The GIVE Gathering below. For more information about The GIVE Gathering overall, contact Foundation Executive Director Mark Weber at (952) 949-8499 or [email protected].

(Foundation volunteer Emily Shelton contributed to this article.)

List of GIVE Gathering organizations (PDF)

Mark Weber About the Author Mark Weber has been the executive director of the Eden Prairie Community Foundation since October 2013. In this role, he enjoys meeting with Eden Prairie residents, and being an active member of the community. If you’d like to connect with Mark, call him at (952) 949-8499 or email him. You can also read Mark’s full biography.

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