High School Student Teams up with United Way to Tackle Hunger

PB&J Target donationBismarck, ND – A Century High School student has teamed up with the United Way Backpack Program, businesses and individuals to address child hunger in the Bismarck-Mandan community.

For the past seven years, Lauryn Hinckley has been collecting peanut butter and jelly to help feed local children. Last year, more than 7,900 pounds of peanut butter and jelly were collected. With the help of Starion Bank, Bismarck and Mandan public schools, Youth Services America (YSA), Cash Wise, C&S Wholesale Grocers, Move for Hunger, Generation On and the Sodexo Foundation, she plans to make even more of an impact this year.

Hinckley’s inspiration comes from an event she witnessed a few years ago. “When I was 9-years-old, I witnessed a family not able to afford their groceries. I saw two little boys’ faces drop and a look of embarrassment come over their mother in a busy checkout line. Up to that point, I had never considered the fact that you need money to get food.” This type of occurrence may be more common than you’d imagine. One in five children in our area does not get enough food to eat.

Lauryn’s service to our community earned her the 2016 Prudential Spirit of Community Award, bestowed on two youth from each state who have demonstrated outstanding acts of volunteerism. She also was recently recognized by the Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation as a 2017 Stephen J. Brady Stop Hunger Regional Honoree.

The United Way Backpack Program is working to end childhood hunger by filling the gaps and sending healthy meals home with students on weekends and breaks. In 2016, the program – supported by volunteers, individuals and local businesses – provided 96,228 meals to students who do not have enough to eat.

The Peanut Butter and Jelly Food Drive will run from March 31 through April 13. Supporting the drive is as easy as stopping by your local Starion Bank to drop off peanut butter and jelly or visiting http://www.msaunitedway.org/pbj to make a monetary contribution. To ensure that items can be delivered to children, please donate 16 to 18 ounce store-bought plastic jars. Youth across the community will also be supporting the effort by hosting drives at their schools.

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LIVE UNITED DAY – November 18

Next Friday, November 18, Governor Dalrymple has declared Live United Day across North Dakota and we want to celebrate with you! After all, it’s our volunteers and donors who are Living United to make our communities a better place.

HOW YOU CAN GET INVOLVED:
• Get you co-workers together and wear a United Way t-shirt (Live United, Day of Caring, etc.) next Friday, November 18.
Post on photo on Facebook or Twitter and use the hashtag #LiveUnitedBisMan. Don’t forget to tag MSA United Way in your post so we see it and can share.
Join us on Friday night for Live United with the Bobcats! Please forward the info below to your staff and encourage them to reserve their tickets now. Once the 50 free tickets are gone, they’re gone.

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Come celebrate LIVE UNITED DAY on November 18 with the Bismarck Bobcats.

The first 50 people who order tickets and wear a Live United shirt to the game will get in free (limit 2 free tickets per family). Ticket prices are $11-adults, $8-youth, $9-senior citizen & $9-military.To secure your free tickets and pay for additional tickets, call the Bobcats ticket office at 222-3300. The free tickets are first call, first receive. Tickets ordered ahead of time can be picked up the night of the game at will-call.

The puck drops at 7:15 p.m., but join us as early as 6:15 p.m. for $1 off draft beer and fun with your United Way friends in sections 9 & 10.

See you there!

Our Community Cares

dsc_0282If you’ve been a part of it, you’ll understand. There’s something special about Day of Caring. Something about the atmosphere created by over 1,000 people working together toward a common goal of making our community a better place.

At 7 a.m. on Aug. 10, volunteers began to arrive at Century High School. By 7:30 a.m. dsc_6533jpgthe bleachers were packed. A sea of gray and blue shirts listened as MSA United Way Board and Campaign Cabinet leadership discussed
campaign goals, community needs and solutions. By 8:15 a.m., volunteers were on their way to their assigned project. By 4 p.m., volunteers were meeting up at the Dakota Zoo to celebrate the day’s accomplishments.

In a single day:

– A record breaking 1,009 volunteers pitched in, investing 8,000 hours in our community.

43 sites and well over 150 projects were completed throughout Bismarck-Mandan and surrounding communities helping local nonprofits catch up on maintenance and make much-needed improvements.

– More than 100 local businesses pitched in to support the event through sponsorships, in-kind donations and providing employees a paid volunteer day.

– Nearly $275,000 in savings can now be reinvested into what matters, programs and services for people in our community.

Can’t wait until Day of Caring next year? You can get involved right now, by visiting volunteerbisman.com to view current volunteer needs in our community. Become a fan of United Way to receive updates when new needs are posted.

Submit a Community Improvement Project Today

At United Way, we want to know how we can help make our community better. Is there a park in your area that could use a little TLC? Are you sick of driving by that eyesore on your way to work? Do you have a neighbor who could use a helping hand? Please submit your proposal for our annual Day of Caring before Friday, May 2. This years event is scheduled for August 13.

All community members are encouraged to submit project ideas. Projects submitted should take around six hours to complete and should be appropriate for both skilled and unskilled volunteers. Chosen projects will be completed by teams of United Way volunteers, while generous businesses provide supplies, water and food for the volunteers.

Volunteer tasks for nonprofit office buildings, shelters, community spaces and/or qualifying client 220813_DayofCaring_46residences may include: painting, lawn care for the elderly or disabled, deep cleaning, minor repairs and restoration, organizing food pantries, sorting donations, reading to children, filling backpacks with food and school supplies, delivering meals, building playgrounds in low-income areas, etc.

Day of Caring started in 2000 as an opportunity to unite our community for the common good. Last year, 30 projects were completed – saving local agencies more than $50,000. Projects included outdoor repairs, cleaning, painting, and yard work at local 220813_DayofCaring_94shelters and homes, clean up at the Girl Scouts’ Camp Neche, and cleaning and repairs of an elderly woman’s apartment.

“Thank you from the depth of my heart for all the work you did for me. The painting of my apartment is great,” said a project recipient in 2013. “What was my apartment is now my home!”

In addition to project proposals, we’re looking for individuals who are willing to take on a leadership role by helping in the planning process. Project Managers are able to practice leadership skills, network with community-minded people, and take ownership of a project that benefits our community. If you’re interested in becoming a Project Manager, click the link below or give us a call at 255.3601.


Day of Caring is a community-driven event that couldn’t be done without the support of many individuals and generous donors. If you would like to get involved by offering a special skill, service or resource, please let us know. If you’re interested in volunteering for the event, please sign up for our newsletter and we’ll keep you updated.

2013 MSA United Way Campaign

This past year was one for the record books…….
In 2013, demands on our social service network reached an all-time high. Poverty and homelessness became visible, notable issues.
United Way volunteers
The numbers:
  • In Bismarck-Mandan, 45% of young children living with a single parent, live in poverty. This number rises to 84% for Native American children
  • Only 29% of local youth feel they have positive role models
  • Over 60% of North Dakotans are overweight or obese
  • Homelessness has increased by 347%
  • Home prices and rental rates have seen significant increases
There’s no doubt our community is experiencing a great deal of change. The good news is North Dakotans from all walks of life have responded in record numbers to meet the challenge.
In 2013:
  • More than $2.1 million was raised during our 2013 Campaign220813_DayofCaring_74
  • More than 6,000 individuals and 600 businesses showed their support during our campaign
  • A grant of $226,712 was received from the Otto Bremer Foundation for 2013
  • A one-time planned gift of $230,000 was left to MSA United Way
  • $122,151 in in-kind resources were distributed to our nonprofit partners
  • 550+ volunteers participated in Day of Caring
  • The United Way Backpack Program was born to combat food insecurity
  • Two new DPIL programs were launched to serve our rural communities
Wrapping up 2013
On Jan. 31, 2014, more than 400 community-minded individuals and business leaders attended our Annual Meeting. We shared the results of the campaign, the impact United Way has had on our community, and where we are going in the future. View the playlist below to see what you missed.
Moving forward in 2014
Because of the generous support of the Bismarck-Mandan community, we will continue to effectively and efficiently work toward solutions to the most pressing needs in our community. In 2014, MSA United Way contributions will support 65 programs and 31 partner agencies that focus on improving the building blocks of a quality life – education, income and health. If you would like to get involved, visit http://www.msaunitedway.org or call 255-3601.

What it means to LIVE UNITED?

This past week, North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple declared Nov. 15, 2013, “LIVE UNITED Day” in the state of North Dakota.

So, what does it mean to LIVE UNITED?LIVE UNITED

You’ve probably seen the T-shirts around town, the familiar black block letters on a plain white T-shirt. They’re nothing fancy, but it’s not about the shirt. It’s about being part of something that’s bigger than one person or organization. It’s about joining an effort to address the issues facing our community to ensure that it retains its greatness. It’s about strength in numbers, working together and lending a hand to our neighbors in need.

Share what it means to you on Facebook.

We’re all connected and interdependent. We all win when a child succeeds in school, when families are financially stable and when people have good health.

Do you want to join the cause? It’s simple. It’s as easy as reading to a child, serving a Thanksgiving meal at a local shelter, speaking up or making a monetary donation to a worthy cause. We all have different resources to offer. You can give, you can advocate and you can volunteer. Together, we can advance the common good. That’s what it means to LIVE UNITED.

Share why you LIVE UNITED on our Facebook page.

United Way Day of Caring

What do you get when 550 generous, community-minded individuals mobilize? Well, you’d get something a lot like the 2013 Day of Caring – a community-wide impact that will be visible for years to come.

This year’s Day of Caring was just that. A record breaking group of volunteers tackled a record number of needs. There’s nothing more inspiring than people who love this community taking action – lending their resources, passion, expertise and valuable time to make it an even better place.

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Why 550

We didn’t recruit 550 volunteers for the sake of breaking records. We did it because our community is growing, needs are on the rise and our local nonprofits are doing all they can to keep up.

Community organizations rely heavily on volunteers. Every hour of volunteer work equates to vital dollars that can be put to work in our community. Not all of the opportunities are glamorous, but they are all needs that would deflect resources from the true mission of the organization. Volunteers free up time and allows our local nonprofit agencies to focus their time and expertise on tackling the issues that plague our community – ultimately providing life changing services to our neighbors in need.

Day of Caring is a true expression of the power of volunteerism. The event is volunteer-driven from top to bottom. This year’s Co-Chairs, Mia Amini and Molly Brooks, began the planning process in March. They identified potential projects, recruited volunteer Team Captains to help assist in project planning, conducted media interviews, helped create awareness and mobilized local businesses and individuals to action.

Why volunteer?

We’re always wondering what motivates our volunteers. So this Day of Caring we decided to ask. We received a wide variety of responses. Everything from 10-year-old Luke who came out with his family “because I just wanted to help and it was on my summer to do list”, to Dakota Zoo Team Captain Dean Mastel who has participated in Day of Caring for the past eight years, “The reason I volunteer is I love this community, Bismarck-Mandan is my home and I love it.” To Dan who came out with a group of volunteers from his church to lend a hand at Charles Hall Youth Services (CHYS), “because they’re (CHYS) doing great thing for young people in our community. It’s just a great opportunity for us to reach out and cause an impact.”

At MSA United Way, we’re supporting the building blocks of stronger communities and better lives. For more information, visit msaunitedway.org.

A special thanks to all of the Day of Caring sponsors, volunteers and in-kind contributors!


Premiere Sponsors: Wells Fargo, Scheels and BNC National Bank
Event Sponsors: KXMB-TV, MDU Resources Group, Inc. and Clear Channel Media and Entertainment
Presenting Sponsors: Precision Underground and Eide Bailly
Corporate Sponsors: Capital Trophy and Tesoro Refinery and Mktg LLC