Members of the Cobber football team recently partnered with drivers in the Monster Jam truck series to benefit a local nonprofit agency.
And the opportunity came about all because of a fellow student’s network of contacts.
A dozen football team members removed old carpet from the activity center at Red River Human Services in Fargo, N.D. Working alongside them were the Monster Jam drivers of Iron Man and Incinerator.
The activity center provides people with intellectual disabilities opportunities for personal growth, social interaction, games, art and recreation.
This demonstration of the personal power of volunteering was the idea of Christie Gleason ’14, Loretto, Minn. She is using skills learned from a mentor through the Offutt School of Business to connect volunteers with service projects in the community.
Gleason is an intern at Rebuilding Together, where she works 10 hours a week helping plan events and recruiting donors. Updating the activity center at Red River Human Services is part of her internship.
“Rebuilding Together believes that everyone deserves to live in a safe and healthy home,” says Gleason. “Our goal is to improve lives by making renovations and repairing homes at no cost for veterans and people with disabilities.”
Gleason says she’s proud to be part of a college that empathizes the importance of community engagement. “It was a pleasure organizing this project because it allowed for deeper connections to be made in the Fargo-Moorhead community,” she says.
The volunteers also enjoyed the connections.
“It’s a good feeling for us to reach out to the local community that supports our shows, especially if we can do something for the kids,” says Dustin Brown, driver of Iron Man.
Coach Terry Horan says his players also receive multiple benefits from serving together.
“The players bond together while they learn that Cobber football is more than playing the game,” he says. “In exchange for the privilege of being a Cobber, they see the need to help others who are less fortunate.”