Giving Back to the Community

Project Linus was one of the nonprofit organizations students could volunteer with

Students donate their day off to help those in need

On Jan. 20, North Dakota State University Volunteer Network hosted the Martin Luther King Jr. Service Day 2020. This year, the NDSU Volunteer Network volunteered with nine different organizations: Arc Attic Treasures, Bethany Retirement Living, Child Evangelism Fellowship, Emergency Food Pantry, FirstLink, A Place For Hope: Recovery and Wellness Center, Ronald McDonald House Charities, River Keepers and Project Linus.

Project Linus is a non-profit organization that donates blankets to children in need. The Eastern North Dakota Chapter of Project Linus began in 2006 with Norene Baeth as the coordinator of the Eastern ND Chapter since 2008.

During the event, student volunteers made tie blankets that would later be donated. Blankets are donated to hospitals, adoption agencies, foster care, women’s shelters, ambulance services, county social services and more. In 2018, the area chapter donated 3,826 blankets.

NDSU students and Theta Chi fraternity members, Chase Anderson and Tyler Blegen, volunteered with Project Linus from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

“I volunteered with (Linus Project) last year,” Anderson said. “It was really fun. This is my favorite volunteering event to do.”

“I’ve been volunteering with (Linus Project) for the last two years,” Blegen said.

NDSU Student and Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society member, Monica Zent, also volunteered with Project Linus.

“Phi Eta Sigma did an event with Project Linus last semester,” Zent said. “That’s how I got involved with the Linus Project.”

Arc Attic Treasures is a thrift store that provides advocacy and programs for people with intellectual and development disabilities. Student volunteers helped with cleaning the store and restocking merchandise. Student volunteers at Bethany Retirement Living, a senior care facility also helped with cleaning and interacted with the facility’s residents.

Ronald McDonald House Charites provides housing for families with children receiving medical care. Students volunteering with the charity helped with cleaning tasks. A Place For Hope: Recovery and Wellness Center, a recovery center for adults with serious and persistent mental illnesses also had student volunteers help staff with cleaning tasks.

FirstLink is an organization that assists people with getting access to community and volunteer resources. FirstLink helps the community access resources like housing, food and transportation assistance, but also health care services, support groups, mental health services, substance abuse disorder services and more. Volunteers spent time writing thank you notes. For more information about services accessible through FirstLink visit

Child Evangelism Fellowship is an organization that educates young children about Jesus Christ and the Bible. Student volunteers constructed mailers that will be used for Giving Hearts Day.

River Keepers is an organization that promotes the safe and sustainable use of the Red River as they organize events to stimulate the use of the Red River. These events include fishing clinics, river paddling excursions, scavenger hunts, environmentally friendly projects and more. Volunteers used t-shirts to create reusable tote bags to replace plastic bags and educate on environmental effects.   

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