We officially committed to living in Albert Lea last year. With this decision made we jumped in with both feet to get involved. Here are six ways we have found to be a blessing to our community.
1. Shine Fest
Shinefest is the vision and passion of a group of businessmen who formed a group called AZ-One. They desired to bring positive change to our community. Our community has experienced the power of neighbor helping a neighbor in remarkable ways!
Shine Fest is a fantastic week in our community. It is an outpouring of neighbors helping neighbors. There is a clothing drive and food drive. The Red Cross comes in and does a blood drive. Free oil changes, wood chips get filled back in at our local parks, schools get spruced up, homes transform with fresh paint, and new landscape. In past years they have painted downtown businesses, cleaned up liter, and have given people in our community a hand up.
Perhaps the most significant part of SHINEFEST our family enjoys is the ability to give in any capacity. We can donate money, our time, or both. Shinefest is changing lives and is a fun way to get to know our neighbors.
2. Southern Minnesota Social Media Breakfast
Held the last Tuesday of every month, 8am-9:30 am, currently hosted in the City Council Chambers at The Albert Lea City Hall (third floor of the library building). We are bringing in top-notch speakers to teach on topics such as How to drive your store from your Facebook Page, How to use Twitter, Why rural America should care about social media, and other excellent topics. We want to help our community successfully be able to communicate to their customers through social media; it is also a great place to network.
3. Lakes Clean Up Day
Community Lake Clean-Up Day was something my dad and I did together when I was in high school. I have always seen our lakes as something I am responsible for helping maintain our communities lakes to make it look beautiful. Growing up my parents taught us I also got to spend time with my dad, it was a win-win. Now, I get to pass on a love of serving our community with my kids. To find out about this year’s Lake Clean Up, Click here.
4. The Global Leadership Summit
GLS is an AZ-ONE sponsored event, hosted at Crossroads Church. Crossroads church has the technology needed to meet the Global Leadership Standards to be a host site. It is in August and worth every price of the admission ticket to get in.
Everyone is a leader, whether you want to be or not, you are a leader. The world needs the gifts and talents you have. There is something inside of you no one else on the planet has. Our community needs you! The GLS is an event that will be on our calendar every year when our kids are old enough it will be part of their schooling. What one thing will you hear that will change your life? The link is coming soon to register!
5. Volunteering at the Humane Society
Angie Stephen’s from Angie’s Lens shares her experience of volunteering in North Iowa. While it is a North Iowa Shelter, the difference we can make here in Freeborn County to the animals at our shelter is the same. Compassion, care, and helping hands make a difference in the lives of these animals. To volunteer, you do need to fill out an application, stop out and pick up an application.
Open to the public: Tuesday and Thursday 1pm-5pm
video courtesy of Angie’s Lens
6. Wind Down Wednesday
I love Wind Down Wednesday! They offer a family fun event for our community. In the past, they have had bounce houses, a huge slide, splash pad in collaboration with our local fire department, face painting, with arts and crafts to inspire the artist inside each of our kids. Vendors line Broadway with their arts, crafts, delicious food, and shops are open to allow attendees to browse their shops. My favorite part of this event is meeting family and friends downtown. Mingling with neighbors and celebrating summer! To be a vendor at WDW click here for all the info.
Getting involved in the community is going to look different for everyone. It should look different, we all have various interests, goals, and passions. These differences are what make our community great. The events I listed fit our family’s goals and interests. What community activity do you enjoy?