Make a Difference: Volunteer opportunities, host families wanted

Volunteer and donation opportunities.

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Arrowhead RSVP seeks volunteers. RSVP stands for Retired and Senior Volunteer Program and is under the AmeriCorps Seniors umbrella. RSVP is for those “55 and better” who want to serve and give back to their community. Since most volunteers are retired, they have the valuable commodities of not only time, but also a lifetime of experience and skills. In the Duluth area, Arrowhead RSVP partners with nonprofits such as hospitals, Meals on Wheels, nursing homes, food shelves, tourist sites and supports their mission through volunteerism. If you are interested in learning more about the many different opportunities for service within Arrowhead RSVP, call Kirsten Ryden at 218-409-5991.

The Auxiliary for The Benedictine Living Community is looking for volunteers to embroider towels for the Daisy Gift Shop in the Benedictine Health Center. Towels and transfers are provided. Donations of embroidery floss and stitching skills would be much appreciated. For details, call Kathy at 218-724-8343. All profits from shop merchandise go directly back to the Benedictine Living Community residents.

Amid the ongoing challenges of recruiting blood donors during the COVID-19 pandemic, local nonprofit Memorial Blood Centers (MBC) is facing a shortage of blood and platelet donations. The need for blood is constant, but due to the pandemic, many drives have been canceled or postponed. To replenish supplies for the Northland’s hospitals, trauma centers, and air ambulance bases, more healthy donors are needed at blood drives and donor centers in the coming weeks. Appointments can be made online at MBC.ORG or by calling 1-888-GIVE-BLD (888-448-3253).

Blood donation is safe and essential, and MBC has a COVID-19 self-screening policy in addition to general eligibility guidelines. In general, you may be eligible to donate if you are:

  • In good health
  • 17 years or older— or 16 with written parental consent (PDF available on MBC.ORG )
  • At least 110 pounds
  • Free of antibiotics for 24 hours, unless taken for preventative reasons
  • Symptom-free for at least 72 hours following a cold or flu

American Red Cross blood drives: 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.


  • Noon to 6 p.m. today, May 26, White Pine Jewelers, 1271 S. Pokegama Ave, Ste. A, Grand Rapids.

  • 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, May 27, First Evangelical Lutheran Church, 735 NE First Ave., Grand Rapids.

  • 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 2, First Lutheran Church, 107 Second St. SE, Aitkin.

  • 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 2, Amsoil Arena, 305 Harbor Drive.
  • 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 3, Amsoil Arena, 305 Harbor Drive.
  • Noon to 6 p.m. June 4, Aitkin United Methodist Church, 104 Second St. NW, Aitkin.

  • Noon to 6 p.m. June 10, Journey Christian Church, 1400 Washington Ave., Cloquet..

  • 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 11, Cloquet VFW, 210 Arch St., Cloquet.

  • 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. July 7, YMCA at Essentia Wellness Center Hermantown, 4289 Ugstad Road, Hermantown.

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 .

Arrowhead Economic Opportunity Agency (AEOA) holds food events at 12:30 p.m. every Thursday, alternating weeks at their Virginia office, 702 Third Ave. S., and Hibbing office, 2900 E. Beltline. Updates and other locations and times are posted to the AEOA (Arrowhead Economic Opportunity Agency) Facebook page weekly.

Ayusa, a nonprofit organization that promotes global learning and leadership through cultural exchange for high school students, is looking for exchange student host families for 2021-2022. Exchange students come from more than 60 countries, are fully insured, bring their own spending money, and are proficient in English. A professionally trained community representative from Ayusa works with the host family and student for the entire program, supporting student and family needs. This a great experience to learn another culture while sharing your American cultures and experiences with an exciting student. Families interested in learning more about hosting an exchange student can visit or contact Daniel Miesle, Ayusa Community Representative, at or 218-256–8020.

AEOA's Meals on Wheels program is in need of volunteer drivers on Tuesdays and every other Friday. Delivery times begin between 9:30-10 a.m. with an approximate delivery time of 1 to 1 ½ hours. During the pandemic, this service has become more important than ever. Call Kirsten at 218-409-5991 to help.

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