Make a Difference

Volunteer and donation opportunities.

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American Red Cross blood drives offered at the locations below. To make an appointment or for more information, download the Red Cross blood donor app, visit , call 800-733-2767 or enable the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.

Upcoming drives:

  • 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 1, UMD Kirby Student Center, 1049 University Drive, Duluth.

  • 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 2, Shriners Event Center, 5152 Miller Trunk Highway, Duluth.

Happy Tails Animal Hospital is helping three animal rescues with fundraising. During December, it will match up to $1,000 of donations received for the three rescues it serves: Northern Lakes, PJ's and Warm Fuzzies Animal Rescue Inc. You can designate a rescue of your choice. Mail, call in or drop off your donation to 1327 Banks Ave, Superior. Hours are 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Call 715-718-2130 or go to .

Itasca County Sheriff’s Office second annual "Fill the Boat" holiday gift drive, noon-5 p.m. Friday, Dec. 3, and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4, courthouse parking lot, east side in Grand Rapids. Santa will be on-site for pictures Dec. 4. Donate new and unwrapped gifts for children age 2-17 and for senior citizens. Monetary and gift card donations also accepted. For more information, contact deputy Mike Partlow at or deputy Tom Williams at or call 218-327-7473.

Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank needs 10-12 volunteers who can pick up food from local convenience stores, retailers, restaurants/caterers and deliver it to local food shelves, on-site meal programs or their food bank. This opportunity is available nearly every day of the week throughout Duluth, Superior and surrounding communities. Volunteers need to be reliable, able to stand, lift, bend and carry up to 50 pounds. This opportunity does require a valid driver’s license, proof of acceptable insurance limits and a clean, reliable vehicle. To learn more, contact Andrew Haukebo, volunteer and development coordinator, at 218-336-2303.


VFW 1720 Auxiliary care package drive is collecting personal items for U.S. veterans through Thursday. Donated items will benefit veterans at the Minnesota Veterans Home in Silver Bay. Items needed include: Walmart, Target, McDonald’s, Subway or Amazon gift cards; monetary donations accepted by VFW 1720 Auxiliary; candy and snacks; toothpaste and toothbrushes; deodorant, denture cleaner and adhesive, craft kits, disposable three-blade razors, Brylcreem, men’s aftershave or cologne, 100-300 piece puzzles, body wash, shampoo, conditioner, easy car or tractor models, postage stamps, blank note cards, stationary, nail clippers, nail files, adult coloring books, colored pencils or markers. Drop off your donations at these locations:

  • VFW Post 1720, 1212 N.W. Fourth St., Grand Rapids.

  • Move It Real Estate, 225 N.W. First Ave., Grand Rapids.

  • Brier Clothing, 413 N.W. First Ave., Grand Rapids.

  • Itasca Co Veterans Office, 410 N.E. Second Ave., Grand Rapids.

  • Itasca Co Resource Center, 1209 S.E. Second Ave., Grand Rapids.

  • ElderCircle, at the YMCA, 400 River Road, Grand Rapids.

Second Harvest Northern Food Bank seeks 9-12 volunteers who can help distribute BackPack Program food to children experiencing weekend hunger in Duluth schools. Volunteers are needed to pick up food from its facility and deliver it to a Duluth school twice each month (the first and third Wednesday, 9:30-11:30 a.m. pickup). Volunteers need to be able to stand, lift, bend and carry up to 50 pounds. This opportunity requires a valid driver’s license, proof of acceptable insurance limits and a clean, reliable vehicle. Contact Andrew Haukebo, volunteer and development coordinator, at 218-336-2303.

AEOA's Central Kitchen needs volunteers to help in the kitchen from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday. Call Kirsten at 218-409-5991 if interested.

Duluth Art Institute seeks docent volunteers for the weekends. Docents supervise the galleries to ensure visitors and the artwork are safe. The Duluth Art Institute gathers volunteer docents during special events when there are more visitors expected than the average day. Call Liz at 218-723-1310 or email for more details.

AEOA's Meals on Wheels program needs a volunteer driver on Mondays for the Morgan Park area. Meals are picked up at the Central Kitchen in Lincoln Park between 9:30-10 a.m. with an approximate delivery time of about 90 minutes. During the coronavirus pandemic, this service has become more important than ever. Consider volunteering for this very rewarding position. Call Kirsten at 218-409-5991.

Ecumen Lakeshore, 4002 London Road, is seeking drivers for its home-delivered meals program. Call Jana at 218-625-7822 or email .

Do you like to read aloud? The Lighthouse Center for Vital Living needs volunteers who will read the newspaper once a month. Reading takes place at the Lighthouse in a recording booth that is COVID-19 safe. To learn more, email Michelle at .

Essentia Health St. Mary’s Hospice is seeking caring and compassionate people who have a listening heart and may have talents, skills, hobbies or interests to share. Essentia Health Duluth Hospice serves people at Solvay Hospice House, and within a 75-mile radius area including the communities of Silver Bay, Superior, Solon Springs, Sandstone and Saginaw. For more information on volunteer training, call Katie Neff Dawson 218-786-4020 or email . To volunteer in the Grand Rapids area, call Robbie Radaich at 218-327-8780. In the Virginia area, call Katie Bird at 218-749-7976.


AARP Tax-Aide Program seeks volunteers in Lake County and Itasca County for the 2021 tax season. For Lake County; volunteers do not need to be an AARP member or retiree and do not have to have a background in tax preparation to participate. Tax-Aide volunteers receive free tax training. Also needed are district manager and communication coordinator positions in Lake County. These do not have to be filled with trained tax preparers, but have the important role of managing the local program. Greeters who assist those who come to the sites are also needed. To help out, call Jerry at 218-595-0268 or email . For Itasca County; they are looking for one to two people for the following positions: client facilitator and tax counselor. If you are interested in either of the positions in Itasca County, or if you would like more information (with no obligation), contact Tax Aide at 218-245-9202 or email , or contact ElderCircle at or 218-999-9233 and leave your contact information.

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