Cold Gifts for Warm Home
Dozens of UMD student organizations take on volunteer projects each year. One of them is the UMD Rotaract Club. This year, Jireh Mabamba, a freshman majoring in business at UMD, is leading a Rotaract Snow Angels effort to raise funds and awareness for those who are homeless, and actually build a Duluth homeless shelter for youth. “150 youth and adults are homeless every given night in Duluth. You wouldn’t know it, but the person sitting next to you may be homeless," Mabamba said.
The Snow Angels event, called Make Your Mark: Angels for a Cause, will take place March 9, 2014, at 3 pm at Malosky Stadium on the UMD campus. Gates open at 2 pm.
Mabamba hails from South Africa, by way of the Congo, and he knows what it is like to be on the receiving end of generosity. He and the other Rotaract members are passionate about helping the community. They are active volunteers with the Rotary of Duluth Club 25, the other sponsor of the snow angel effort.
“Making a snow angel is free. We invite everyone to make a snow angel and to make a free will donation. We suggest students to give $2 and families to give $5,” Mabamba said. “It's a simple action, making a snow angel, but it will make a huge difference in a lot of kid’s lives.”
The group hopes more than 9,000 people will attend, which would break the world record of 8,962 set in Bismarck, North Dakota, in 2007.
In addition to the homeless shelter project coordinated by Lutheran Social Services, CHUM and Life House, which also serve people who are homeless, will also benefit from the fundraiser.
This is the second Duluth Snow Angel event. The 2013 effort brought over 1,800 people to Malosky Stadium at UMD.
Story by Irene Hanson. February, 2014.