Community gets behind a couple good causes
Park Rapids has a reputation as being a very giving community with very active churches, service organizations and other groups continually contributing to various causes. Donations are always going somewhere to help someone, all for the betterment of the Park Rapids area. From the food shelf to new pianos people here are willing to dig deep and give to the greater good. It’s nice to see. Two such projects to note directly affecting the Park Rapids Area School District are Partners for Pianos which is looking to raise $48,000 for a grand piano and smaller, upright studio piano, and the Food Angels Weekend Backpack Program with a goal of raising $30,000. Both donation drives are nearly complete and looking for one more community contribution push before the end of the year.
School superintendent Lance Bagstad reported Monday the grand piano made its concert debut last week and sounded beautiful. The Partners for Pianos group has raised $44,000-plus. Park Rapids Rotary kicked off the Food Angels Weekend Backpack Program this fall in response to a growing need of the Food Angels feeding Park Rapids area school children on the weekends. The total amount raised so far is $23,500. Church collections, service organizations, business promotions, individual fund drives, and many more have contributed to this program. Food Angels provided meals for 65 children in the first year in 2014-15, and that number increased to 178 (grades K-4) at the start of school this year, dropping slightly to currently about 165 students each week. Teachers and volunteers directly involved with Food Angels see the need on a weekly basis.
“For me, I see students in our school that struggle learning due to hunger,” one Park Rapids teacher shared. “To know that these students are able to get food to eat over the weekend makes me feel that every moment spent volunteering for Food Angels is the best way to spend my time!” This teacher also shared one of her student asks every Friday, “Is it a food day?” “When I answer yes the student does a little jump and gets a big smile.”