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Fargo By Fargo: Getting Involved In The Community

Photos special to Fargo Monthly

As the Fargo-Moorhead continues to grow at an astonishing rate of a dozen residents a day, our identity is being shaped by the nearly 230,000 citizens. We went to you, the people who are molding and shaping our culture, to ask you about Fargo-Moorhead’s community involvement. We asked, you answered. Here’s what Fargo means to you.

Meet The Fargoans

Daniel Granados
Team Lead at John Deere Electronics
Lived in Fargo for 35 years
Jill Frederick
Professor of English at Minnesota State University Moorhead who retired last May
Lived in Fargo for 25 years
Heather Hemingway
Anytime Mortgage, Director of Operations
Live in Fargo-Moorhead for 25 years
Lance Morlock
Senior at Moorhead High School and works at GiGi’s Cupcakes
Lived in Moorhead his entire life

Organizations in our community making a difference…

Daniel Granados: The Immigrant Development Center helps new Americans and low-income people by giving them the tools, resources and guidance to become self-sufficient in starting their own business. They work together with Dakota Certified Development Corporation to help make it work.

Jill Frederick: Dress for Success, the F5 Project and Minn-Kota PAAWS are three organizations that demonstrate, not just charitable thought, but action. The first two are all about helping people find their strengths, bringing them back into the mainstream of society and allowing them to do well in – and ultimately give back – to the community. PAAWS provides neuter-spay services to limited income households, helping to keep the number of unwanted animals down in the Fargo-Moorhead area.

Lance Morlock: The Dorothy Day Food Pantry. This organization helps to supply food to many of those in need. I volunteered there through my church for many years, and it always puts a smile on my face to see the positive impact this organization has on our community. They make a difference each day and truly show how easy it is to make a positive impact in the community.

Heather Hemingway: The United Way of Cass-Clay has extensive reach through their programs, events and fundraisers. Successful marketing, community recognition and workplace involvement make them a well-known organization that is able to make a significant impact on the community.

Two charity events you can’t miss…

Daniel Granados: The United Way back to school supply drive and food drive charity events would have to be the ones I can’t miss because I feel they are for a really good cause.

Jill Frederick: I tend to participate in smaller charitable events for Cats Cradle throughout the year, though we also try to do a larger annual event as well (last year’s theme was “Rock the Cradle” and featured a drag competition). Just recently, Cats Cradle was the recipient of a Gordman’s fundraiser; we received 10 percent of all sales one evening from 5 to 10 p.m. Since we’re funded exclusively by donations, fundraising and adoption fees, these events are crucial for us.

Lance Morlock: My family loves participating in the event Lend a Hand “Bowlin’ for the Colon.” After my dad passed away from colon cancer in 2016, we feel this charity can help to make a difference in the lives of those struggling with this disease. We hope to help pay it forward for all the community support we received during our hard times. This event entails bowling, raffles, silent auction basket and many more things. It’s a yearly event that I highly suggest.

The Special Olympics. This is an amazing event that allows for individuals with special needs to compete, enjoy and celebrate. I have worked it for many years and have a deep passion for it. My aunt is special needs and seeing how joyful she is for these types of events is incredible and something very important to my family.

Heather Hemingway: Wish Fast is a Superhero 3k, 5k and 10k in May to benefit Make-A-Wish ND that we participate in each year. Everyone is encouraged to dress as a superhero for the event and villains are scattered throughout Lindenwood Park. With music, food and prizes, it is fun for the entire family, even the dog. (This year’s event will take place on Saturday, May 5.)

GiGi’s Playhouse Fargo Walk & Festival in October benefits GiGi’s Playhouse Fargo, which is a Down Syndrome Achievement Center. They offer multiple programs that assist with development in fine motor, gross motor, speech and language, social, academic and family involvement skills. The event itself is a fun-for-the-whole-family fun walk and festival with music, face-painting and more.

One specific thing people can do to help our community…

Daniel Granados: I believe one specific thing people can do to help their community could be to have more diversity awareness being either through different kinds of events in showing how we all as a community have much more similarities then what we first thought.

Jill Frederick: Find a cause that’s close to their hearts and volunteer, whether it’s animal rescue, historical preservation, working at the local food banks, working with new Americans, there are lots of worthwhile causes that always need a hand.

Lance Morlock: I think the biggest way to support a thriving community is to get out and volunteer. It has changed my life and outlook on many things and will greatly impact yours. The people you meet and the difference you will make is unbelievable and it’s so easy to get involved. There are volunteer organizations everywhere that love new volunteers.

Heather Hemingway: Make time to be kind. I recommend everyone read “Kindness is Contagious” by Nicole Phillips. It’s too easy to get caught up in our daily hectic schedules or make ourselves feel overwhelmed and stretched thin with our to-do lists.

Make time to volunteer at one of the many great organizations in the area. For example, making dinner at the Ronald McDonald House only takes a few hours. Or take less than a minute to make eye contact with and smile at someone, assist an elderly person to load their groceries into their vehicle and then return the cart for them. These simple things that only require us to make the time and effort go a long way.

One thing we can all do to become a better community…

Daniel Granados: I believe one thing we can all do to become a better community is to get out of our comfort zone by learning more about new Americans and their cultures. It will take some time but I believe that’s a start in uniting everyone.

Jill Frederick: Remember that we have all come here from other places. Since we are all here now, we need to be kind to one another and work together to make Fargo-Moorhead everything it can and should be.

Lance Morlock: Notice the great impact these organizations are having around us and be thankful for what they are doing. A smile, “thank you” and a helping hand could go the longest way. It will strengthen us as a whole and help us to thrive.

Heather Hemingway: Empathy. Learn it, develop it, encourage it, demonstrate it, practice it.

It’s about putting ourselves in the place of others and trying to understand their point of view. It opens our minds, improves communication and is relevant in any situation. Differences can divide our community, but with empathy and compassion, the differences can strengthen and unite us … regardless of age, industry, class, politics, religion, marital status, culture or gender.

Written by Andrew Jason

Andrew Jason is the Editorial Director at Spotlight Media. He oversees the production and the wonderful team behind Fargo Monthly, Fargo INC!, Bison Illustrated and Design and Living magazines. In his free time, he enjoys running marathons and pretending he's a much better piano player than he actually is.

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