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Tracy Frank, Published June 30 2010

Volunteers donate time for annual Day of Action

Wells Fargo employees Melissa Prosby of Moorhead and Cindy Shelstad of Fargo gave up an afternoon at the bank to load cots, blankets and other emergency supplies onto Red Cross disaster trailers.

The women joined more than 130 volunteers from 15 area businesses to serve at United Way of Cass-Clay-funded agencies Tuesday afternoon for the third annual Day of Action.

“It’s a great way to get out of work for the day to do something that means something,” Prosby said.

Hundreds of United Ways across the nation participated in the national day of service. It’s a way for donors and volunteers to learn about the agencies United Way of Cass-Clay helps support, a news release said.

“In 2009, more than 140,000 local men, women and children had their lives changed in a positive way because of United Way donors and volunteers,” said Sue Wiger, UWCC Resource Development Director.

Volunteers helped out Tuesday at 14 agencies in the area, working with developmentally disabled clients at Fargo’s Vocational Training Center and sorting and preparing donated medical supplies at HERO, which stand for Health Equipment Recycling Organization, in Moorhead.

“It’s nice to know that it’s mainly in our community so the help we’re doing is helping people here,” Shelstad said.

Before getting to work, volunteers at American Red Cross Minn-Kota Chapter in Fargo toured the facility and learned how the agency helps disaster victims and how it prepares for disaster response.

The Wells Fargo volunteers then stocked five disaster trucks for emergencies such as tornados, floods and other natural disasters.

Tom Tezel, American Red Cross Minn-Kota Chapter emergency services director, said volunteers help the organization be as prepared as possible to meet a disaster.

“Because they’re giving of their time, we can be ready tomorrow as opposed to ready next week,” Tezel said. “Since we never know when disaster is going to strike, it’s good to be ready today.”

During the event, Hornbacher’s presented a check to United Way of Cass-Clay for $18,541 from its Gobble It Up for United Way fundraising event.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Tracy Frank at (701) 241-5526