Trying to energize flood volunteers when there’s no flood

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image courtesy Engage U

A local arts based initiative wants Fargo Moorhead residents to volunteer in the community as a way to celebrate a flood free spring.

Fargo Moorhead residents battled major Red River floods each of the past three years. Thousands volunteered to fill and place sandbags during those floods. This spring the river is meekly flowing within its banks. There’s no need for sandbags in Fargo Moorhead this spring, so organizers are trying to tap the community spirit of volunteerism for other community needs.

Engage U, a social engagement organization based at North Dakota State University is organizing the event to tie in with the Plains Art Museum’s exhibition series PROJECT Flood Diversion.

The exhibit brings together several artists to pose questions, or identify issues related to flooding. This image from the exhibit depicts Fargo Mayor Dennis Walaker as Moses.

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image courtesy Plains Art Museum- Rachel Brixius, “Walaker’s Moses

The volunteer effort is called River Inspired Service Engine (R.I.S.E) and it aims to inspire local residents to focus energy they won’t use fighting a flood to volunteer for everything from community clean-up projects, to helping local non-profit agencies to creating their own volunteer initiative.

Volunteers looking for a place to help can contact FirstLink, the organization that coordinates sandbag volunteers during floods, but also manages volunteers for a variety of local organizations.

The volunteer initiative continues through the month of May.

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