Giving Back

Glass sculpture "The Wave" by artist David Wight

Going to the beach is one of this season’s finest luxuries, and enjoying Minnesota lakes tops my own “Best Way to Spend a Summer Day” list. When I visit one of the coasts—east, west or north—

When Chloe Townsend’s grandfather taught her how to downhill ski when she was just 2 years old, he could hardly have envisioned he was launching a toddler toward becoming an elite athlete.

In a city where ice sports reign supreme, learning to skate might as well be required. But for kids with special needs like Peter Lafferty’s 8-year-old son, Roman, skating seemed more like a pipedream than a possibility.

Each year, Connecting with Kids recognizes five individuals or organizations that have exemplified effective engagement with youth in the community.

As worries about Ebola settle down in the U.S., the effects of this devastating disease are still palpable in stricken African countries such as Liberia. Members of the Strathy family, many of whom are health care professionals, are in touch with the plight of the Liberian people.

Now in its seventh year, the Skate with the Hornets event gives young fans a chance to meet their favorite Hornet hockey players. Truly a community event, this annual open skate offers an opportunity to give back.

Every weekday for more than 40 years, Edina’s Meals on Wheels program has been delivering hot meals to residents.

No skates? No problem. When she was in seventh grade, Edina resident Sarah Miller started a program in which old or unwanted ice skates are donated and distributed to Edina-area warming houses, so neighbors without skates can partake in the fun.

Holly Hastings, a Minneapolis artist who grew up in Edina, was living alone in an isolated northern cabin to work on her memoir. Feeling lonely, she travelled to Hibbing to adopt a cat from the animal shelter.

Even on the most blustery days, Salvation Army bell ringers stationed by big red kettles can be found around Edina, from the day after Thanksgiving through Christmas Eve. Many of these volunteer bell ringers are your friends, family members and neighbors.

Caregivers strive to keep elderly loved ones in their own homes as long as possible, by helping with little things like groceries and housework, and growing from there.