Duluth flood: How to helpA Twin Cities musician who calls Duluth his “adopted second hometown” has already sent out a call looking for musicians interested in playing a flood relief benefit concert.
By: Christa Lawler, Duluth News Tribune
By Thursday morning a Twin Cities musician who calls Duluth his “adopted second hometown” had already sent out a call looking for musicians interested in playing a flood relief benefit concert.
Mick Sterling, a regular on stage at Bayfront Bluesfest, operates the 30 Days Foundation, a nonprofit organization that raises money for people in need of a moderate amount of money to get out of a jam: An empty refrigerator, new tires for the car, an unbudgeted hospital bill.
“I did something like this last year after the North Minneapolis tornado,” Sterling said. “The template is already in place. People have such a sentimental thing for Duluth. There are a lot of memories there.”
Sterling was working on signing on bands and securing a venue on Thursday afternoon and is one of the first to begin organizing fundraising efforts for the region after severe flooding on Wednesday. Sterling has a lot of details to work out — who, when and where — but there is a day and night of music on the horizon, Sterling said. He is trying to act fast while the flood is still fresh in people’s minds.
For the 2011 concert for Minneapolis, Sterling organized a nine-band show at Famous Dave’s in Minneapolis. The show brought in $3,700 and the proceeds were divided among people who had requested financial assistance from his organization.
Those who apply for help from the 30 Days Foundation fill out an application indicating the greatest area of need: Fuel cards, department store, utility bills, home improvement and grocery needs. Money raised is divided equally among applicants, but in the form of gift cards or direct payments for service rather than cash.
“We help people out of real life financial jams,” Sterling said. “Stuff happens to everybody. It happens to me all the time. It happens to family members and friends. Your car breaks down, you might lose your job, you might lose your apartment. One or two things happen and you get so far in the hole it seems insurmountable.”
In 2011, the organization helped 230 families, mostly from the Twin Cities area but also in Duluth and Superior, Sterling said.
Preston Gunderson was also thinking about benefit concerts on Thursday.
The recent College of St. Scholastica graduate had more than 700 people on Facebook interested in his fundraising effort, the Duluth Benefit Concert. Gunderson said he is looking for a mix of Minnesota bands to sign on for a show in about three weeks.
Gunderson has got e-mails out to an ambitious list of well-known acts — Bob Dylan’s people have been approached — and his sights on the city’s premier outdoor venue.
“Although the goals are lofty, it was a significant day in the history of Duluth,” Gunderson said. “It’s a great way to give back to the community. Not only because it needs help, but because music has a healing power that brings people together. We’re trying to do something special for the city.”
Gunderson had an organizational meeting planned for Thursday night. He said to watch the event’s Facebook page for details.
OTHER WAYS TO HELP
For people looking for ways to help, here are other groups accepting donations and volunteers.
- Duluth Parks and Recreation: Parks and trails in the area will be relying partly on volunteers to clean up after the flooding. To help clean up Duluth city parks and trails, contact Cheryl Skafte at (218) 730-4334 or firstname.lastname@example.org. More information on the cleanup will be available on the city’s website soon.
- Chester Bowl Improvement Club: Meet at Chester Bowl on Skyline Parkway from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Monday for a general park clean-up. For more information, call (218) 724-9832.
- Superior Hiking Trail: Volunteers will be needed to assess trail conditions and help replace bridges. To volunteer, call (218) 834-2700 or e-mail email@example.com.
- Cyclists of Gitchee Gumee Shores: To help with trail work on Duluth’s mountain-biking trails, go to www.coggs.com and check the message board for upcoming trail work dates and locations.
- Lake Superior Zoo: Contribute to cleanup and rebuilding efforts on the fundraising website givemn.org. By Thursday night, the zoo had hit almost $2,000. The zoo is also looking for volunteers to help with clean-up efforts this weekend. Go to lszoo.org for more details.
- Red Cross: The city of Duluth is directing donations to the Red Cross at redcrossmn.org or (800) 733-2767. Donors also can text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation or send checks to the Northland Chapter of the American Red Cross at 2524 Maple Grove Road, Duluth, MN 55811.
- Lutheran Social Services of Minnesota: Collecting donations to help with flood recovery efforts in Duluth and other communities. It has also made available its Camp Noah program, which is designed to help children recover emotionally from natural disasters. Go to lssmn.org/disaster or mail contributions to Lutheran Social Services of Minnesota, SDS 12-2054, PO Box 86, St. Paul, MN 55486. Put “Duluth disaster response” on the memo line.