April Workbench

 April 2017 Issue

Volunteer Spotlight :

I was raised in a town of 900 people and have now been a part of the Fargo-Moorhead community for over 25 years.  Since moving to Fargo I have evolved from what most would classify as a punk teenager with a bullet proof attitude (my wife would argue that the bullet proof attitude still exists), to someone who is only just starting to realize the value of life and people.  I am also extremely fortunate to work for  a company such as Showplace Kitchens that not only supports but encourages  my endeavors.

Growing up in a small town the “talk around town” is that everyone pretty much knows what you had for dinner last night and every other nugget of information you thought was private.  That being said “sense of community” was looked upon as a negative.  As I have grown, I have started to understand the positives of it all.  We didn’t have the good fortune of a Rotary Club, United Way, Rebuilding Together or any other worthy organization on a direct level.  We were a small town and what came with that affiliation was the simple fact that if you needed a helping hand – there was always someone to step up and help out.  If the help needed was monetary – a well-attended spaghetti feed at the city hall was always an option.

As I have grown in the last 25 years I have had a great deal to do with the United Way.   I have also been involved on several committees with the HBA, joined the Rotary club and taken various other volunteer opportunities.  A little over a year ago, while attending an HBA function.  I was introduced to  Rebuilding Together.  I was asked if I was interested in volunteering.  While I have witnessed the variety and multitude of volunteer opportunities in our community and quite honestly have not found a bad one.  I was in the middle of preparation for the booth that Showplace Kitchens hosts at the Red River Valley Home & Garden Show.  My response “contact me after the Home Show”…

I was sitting at my desk one day and Rebuilding Together came to mind.   I did a google search and pulled up their website & Facebook page.  At first glance I was a little disappointed at the newsletter on their website not being current and a few other things that seemed like they could use some attention.  I then started to dig a little deeper and realized their size and longevity locally. Rebuilding Together was just five years old and employed only 3 part time people.  It occurred to me that their mission to help low income, elderly and veterans with home repairs was one that I had seen first-hand in the small town community in which I grew up. All Rebuilding Together Really needed from me or anyone else was a helping hand, that helping hand would pay it forward to folks that didn’t have the good fortune of experiencing   the sense of community found in a small town.  So, to take it one step further… when you have a larger community you don’t have the luxury of knowing everyone or knowing anyone’s trials & tribulations.  Consequently, that is why it is amazing to see the plethora of options in which one can volunteer & contribute right here in the Fargo-Moorhead-West Fargo Community and I couldn’t be any more pleased with the ones I am able to contribute to. Rebuilding Together is right at the top for me!

Jamie Stenseth, Showplace Kitchens

RTFMA News:

Our 2017 “Neighbors Helping Neighbors”  breakfast  held on April  12th created  several new relationships and 22 new volunteers a BIG THANK YOU to all who attended!  We are gearing up for our 2017 build season and always in need of project volunteers., house sponsors, and general volunteers to ensure we meet as many needs in our community as possible . To get involved and help out your neighbors in need contact Lisa Graalum at 701-356-7836 or email her at       lisagraalum@rebuildingtogetherfma.org.