College – Community Cooperation

At the most recently NDDC Downtown Forum, a few of the audience members challenged the College Presidents to contribute more to the community. In a follow-up article in the Northfield News (buried deep in the paper), I was quoted as saying that I always found the colleges willing to work with and contribute to the community and suggested that maybe folks were either not asking the right question or not offering the right opportunity.

The NDDC just completed its second annual Welcome Parents and Familes Bag project and the colleges couldn’t have been more helpful. The bags are filled with coupons and goodies from local retailers and restaurants, along with information about Northfield and our ever-popular Downtown Directory. The parents seem to absolutely love them.

And what did the colleges do? They contributed rooms for the assembly of the bags, they provided workers to fill the bags, they gave us coffee and baked goods to nourish the volunteers and then set up spaces for us to distribute the bags. No, I didn’t ask them to hand over cash, I just asked them to work with us on a mutually beneficial project.

Thank you Carleton and St. Olaf! It was great. Let’s do it again next year.