Monday Informer: Salvation Army scheduling bell ringers

Oct. 30—The Free Press

One sign of the Christmas season is bell ringers stationed near large red kettles. The Salvation Army has an urgent need this year to register volunteers for this year's fundraising campaign.

The nonprofit is working to schedule unfilled volunteer slots totaling more than 3,500 hours of service during its bell-ringing season that kicks off Nov. 17. The start date for the initiative will begin a few days earlier than previous years.

Funds raised during the campaign are used to help provide struggling families with meals, emergency shelter, spiritual care and emergency financial assistance throughout the year.

Individuals, families, churches, businesses, neighborhood associations and other groups may register to volunteer at:

Volunteer rakers needed

VINE Faith in Action's is seeking volunteers to rake lawns for older homeowners in the area.

The nonprofit is organizing a community service event, Rake the Town, slated Nov. 4-12 throughout Blue Earth and Nicollet counties.

Volunteers would assist residents who have requested help with their leaf raking. VINE will provide rakes and supplies needed along with the addresses of the homes.

To sign up, go to: or call 387-1666.

Homeowners 65 and older who live in Blue Earth or Nicollet counties and need help raking should contact VINE's Program Director Adam Massmann at 386-5574.

A short intake will be completed for those who haven't previously received the service. While there is no formal charge for Rake the Town, donations are requested to help cover the cost of supplies.

MSU announces social justice lectures

Minnesota State University's upcoming Social Justice Lecture Series features two presentations about birds and a hands-on conservation project.

—"Raptors on Campus" is slated 2:30-3:30 p.m. Wednesday at Ostrander Auditorium in Centennial Student Union.

The University of Minnesota's Raptor Center will bring four raptors, including one bald eagle, to campus for the event.

—"Birding for Everyone" is scheduled 2-3 p.m. Wednesday in Centennial Student Union, Room 201. Featured speakers are May Vang from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Bird by Bird project and Lori Naumann from the Minnesota DNR's EagleCam project. The audience will learn about the importance of environmental stewardship for the future of birds.

There is no admission fee for either program.

A group volunteer event to help clear invasive plants that threaten local birds is set for noon to 2 p.m. Saturday at Minneopa State Park. Volunteers are required to register by Thursday. To sign up, go to:

For more information about the Social Justice Lecture Series or any of these events, contact Carol Glasser, associate professor in MSU's Department of Sociology, at:

Bestselling author presentation Tuesday

New York Times bestselling-author, J.A. Jance, will discuss her newest mystery novel, "Blessings of the Lost Girls," during a virtual presentation 6 p.m. Tuesday.

The free program is part of Blue Earth County Library System's Book Club. Patrons are not required to read the book.

Copies of the book are available at the library. To find out how to attend the virtual program or to reserve a book, call 304-4023.