10,000 arms

Thank you. 

Last Saturday, 2,000 of you took time out of a beautiful day to help clean up North Minneapolis after the devastating tornado of two weeks ago — and even before Saturday, 3,000 people had already volunteered their time in doing the same. 

That is 10,000 arms that have been wrapped aroundNorth Minneapolis so far. And for that, I am incredibly grateful. 

Saturday was extraordinary. I met so many different people from so many different communities and backgrounds who came to help: people from every neighborhood in Minneapolis, and folks fromSaint Paul, every suburb and communities much farther away, even including some volunteer firefighters fromSt. Francis,Minnesota. After thanking folks at the volunteer center, I spent the afternoon with a group from my church clearing debris near 36th and Aldrich. 

Working together on Saturday, we collectively removed 180,000 pounds of debris from North Minneapolis.

If you volunteered on Saturday or have volunteered at any point to help the great residents of North Minneapolis clean up their yards, streets and neighborhood, I just want to say again: thank you. 

The May 22 tornado hit North Minneapolis hard, which means that even after everything that you’ve done so far, there is much more to do. This also means that there will be many more opportunities to volunteer, and we will make sure you’re aware of them as they arise. 

Many organizations deserve our thanks for helping to make Saturday a success: the East Gateway Partnership, Habitat for Humanity, Lutheran Social Services, the Red Cross, the Salvation Army and Urban Homeworks helped organize the event and provided the volunteers who helped all the other volunteers get oriented, get supplies and get out in the neighborhood. 

Businesses helped on Saturday by donating food and supplies: thank you to the Clorox Company, Home Depot, Lowe’s, Schwan’s and Subway. The great Minneapolis MOSAIC arts festival offered free admission to volunteers on Saturday evening. And a special thanks to Brookdale Mall for providing us with the space to get everything organized. 

We couldn’t have made Saturday a success without the help of many other levels of government as well. I want to thank the State of Minnesota and the Minnesota National Guard, the Metro Transit Commission and the Metro Transit Police, the Brooklyn Center police, the City of Saint Paul and Hennepin, Ramsey, Dakota, Washington and Scott Counties for all their help. When disaster has struck other communities inMinnesota, the City ofMinneapolishas been proud to do our part and help them recover. At this time of a disaster of our own, we’re humbled to receive other communities’ help. It’s just more proof that we’re oneMinnesota. 

Finally, I want to thank the incredibly hard-working staff of the City of Minneapolis. People who work in all departments have put in many thousands of hours since the tornado hit, including late at night and over the weekend, to meet countless immediate needs and plan for an even stronger future for the neighborhood. They are all Minneapolis’ finest. 

As I said, there will be much more to do, but to everyone helped on Saturday’s very successful volunteer clean-up event, and to everyone who has helped thus far, thank you.