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Serve With the Herd: NDSU Celebrates Homecoming By Giving Again

More than 100 students volunteered at local organizations

FARGO, N.D. — Homecoming week is all about celebrating the pride you have for your school.

But at NDSU, students are showing off their Bison spirit by doing something nice for someone else while also changing their point of view.

“Being able to go and give that relief back to others and kind of see what’s around you rather than just what’s in your own life gives you a different perspective on what’s going on. It’s not only in our nation but especially in our own community,” said Emily Johnson, with the NDSU Volunteer Network.

More than 100 students are changing the way they see things as part of “Serve With the Herd.”

They’re volunteering with nine organizations across Fargo–Moorhead including the YWCA of Cass Clay, Churches United and Project Linus.

“It feels really good because I know Project Linus is for kids and since I’m going into nursing, it’s nice to know that what I give can give back in other ways than just through school. A warm blanket for a kid (will give them) a nice smile on their face,” said Erin Lemanski, a junior at NDSU.

The blankets these students are making will go to kids in the hospital, at rape and abuse centers, foster care and to families who lost a hero. Project Linus was started in 1995.

“A gal had found out somebody needed blankets and so she got a group together to deliver blankets to the Denver Children’s Hospital,” said Norene Baeth, coordinator for Project Linus’ chapter in eastern North Dakota.

Eventually it made its way to eastern North Dakota in 2006.

“We have handed out over 35,000 blankets since 2006. Last year we handed out 3,000 and the year before that it was 4,000. To be honest, it’s really nice not to hand them out because that means kids are not hurting,” Baeth said.

But for those who need a little something extra to get through the day, Baeth says it’s volunteers like the ones here at NDSU who make it all possible.

“Project Linus could not do what they’re doing if the community did not help and this is a huge help,” she said.

In addition to helping kids, Baeth says the volunteers often remind her what it really means to give others a helping hand.

“They’re talking, they’re enjoying it and they’re having fun. That’s what community service should be. Yeah they’re working, they’re working very hard. But they’re having fun and that’s what it is about giving to others,” Baeth said.

Students will have another Serve with the Herd in the spring.

If you’d like to get involved with Project Linus, volunteers make quilts every Monday at One Oak Place on 25th Avenue South in Fargo from 10 to 3 p.m.


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