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Missy Thomas: Clean Up Day a good day for all

"Back-To-School" sales are in full swing and both the leaves and warmer weather will soon be changing. However, the lack of sunny skies and warm temps will not stop nearly 300 volunteers for this year's 14th Annual Senior Community Clean-Up Day on Oct. 26..

This one-day, community-wide event was started as a project of Northwoods Caregivers some 14 years ago. Each year, many senior citizens from the Bemidji area need help preparing their homes for winter with services such as raking and hauling leaves. With the collaborative efforts of Northwoods Caregivers and other agencies (Habitat for Humanity, Community Resource Connections, the Disability Linkage Line and the United Way of Bemidji Area), Senior Community Clean Up Day has become an exciting, annual opportunity for families and volunteers of all ages to help local seniors and other disabled individuals. There has certainly been continued support from the community -- more and more businesses, churches, school groups and even families help out each year. They give whatever they can -- their time, money or other donations.

If you would like to help support this year's Senior Community Clean Up Day, please consider sponsoring a volunteer for just $25. Sponsorship helps provide rakes, leaf bags and recognition to all volunteers and can be pledged online at About 5,000 leaf bags are needed for this event. If you would like to donate leaf bags, they can be dropped off at the offices of Northwoods Caregivers, 616 America Ave, Suite 170, or the United Way of Bemidj, 3124 Hannah Ave.

To sign up for this free day of service, call 333-8261 by Oct. 11th. (Help is available to seniors and people with disabilities within the city limits of Bemidji. Seniors are also asked to provide a box of leaf bags for their yard.)

To volunteer, call 333-8266 or sign up online at by Oct. 11th. Volunteers must register by this date to receive a free T-shirt. Volunteers will meet at the Boys & Girls Club at 8 a.m. for a continental breakfast. A complimentary lunch is also served after the assignments have been completed.

For more information, call Katie at 333-8262.