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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

    Caught in the ACT

    < the election is over. The next President of the United States has been decided. As I write these words, I still don’t know the final result. But that really doesn’t matter in terms of what I’m about to talk to you about. Through your informed vote on Tuesday, you affected your local community in positive ways. Your efforts, however, can also be more hands-on and involve direct community contact. The following ACT programs affect issues in the community that are central to a discussion of Northfield’s most urgent needs. Now that the election is over, do your part to help our community by serving throughout the year.

    HealthFinders Collaborative is a local clinic that operates two days a week to provide health services to uninsured and under-insured individuals in the Northfield area. Patient eligibility is determined by household income; only individuals living below 200% of the poverty level may apply. ACT Volunteers help with clerical, database and translation work for HealthFinders. While policymakers in Washington are still deciding how to tackle the problem of uninsured Americans, you can confront it right now in Northfield. Contact Whitney Allen (allenw).

    Volunteer Interpreter Services and Adult ESL Conversation provide essential services for the immigrant population in Northfield. Volunteer interpreters make it easier for local non-English speakers to access health, legal, educational, employment and social services. Adult ESL Conversation teaches English language classes one night a week on campus. If you have a proficiency in Spanish, Volunteer Interpreter Services could use your help. Contact Britta Anderson (andersbr). And if you don’t, Adult ESL allows you to help immigrants without knowing their native language. Contact Martta Sareva (sarevam).

    Finally, if you’re interested in Social and Economic Justice, a great place to volunteer is the Northfield Community Action Center. This community center houses both the Clothes Closet and the Food Shelf, two ongoing ACT Programs. The Clothes Closet is a retail thrift store that provides discounted clothing to low-income families in the Northfield area. Volunteers sort clothes, tag items and collect donated clothing from Carleton’s laundry rooms. You can support the Clothes Closet through a weekly, biweekly, or monthly commitment or by donating your gently used clothing to a donation box in your laundry room. If you’re interested in this program, contact Julia Reid (reidj). The Food Shelf supports more than 300 families in the Northfield area, and is an essential resource for those in need. Volunteers for the Food Shelf sort, shelve, and distribute food on a weekly, biweekly, or monthly basis. Contact Lauren Blacik to volunteer for the Food Shelf (blacikl).

    A recent ad campaign for Starbucks asks some poignant questions: “What if we cared as much on November 5th as we did on November 4th? What if we cared all of the time the way we care some of the time?” As the election excitement tapers off, ask yourself these questions. And consider volunteering in Northfield through ACT.

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