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Our view: Duluth rallies around neighbors in need

The goal is as ambitious as the need is great. The goal is to raise $1 million in one month. The need belongs to the many Duluthians and Northlanders who lost so much -- belongings, treasured family keepsakes and even their entire homes -- to las...

Duluth Rally to Help Fundraiser

The goal is as ambitious as the need is great.

The goal is to raise $1 million in one month. The need belongs to the many Duluthians and Northlanders who lost so much -- belongings, treasured family keepsakes and even their entire homes -- to last month's surprise floods.

No one was killed. For that we can be grateful. But many are hurting and are struggling to restore their lives. With that we can help. Like we've always helped. Our community always has just been that way.

With the call to come together and to rally around our many neighbors in need as great as it is now - perhaps greater than ever before - money already is pouring in. Nearly $80,000 has been raised with little or no publicity.

As more is collected, the News Tribune Opinion page will be proud to track the progress. Every day this month we'll publish the rain gauge graphic linked to this editorial. At the bottom of the graphic we'll highlight corporations and businesses that donate $1,000 or more. The community needs its corporations and businesses to step up, to try to out-donate each other and to be leaders in this effort.

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Is it reasonable or even possible for a community our size to raise

$1 million in one month?

"I hope so. I think so. But whatever we can do will help," Paula Reed, president of the United Way of Greater Duluth, said in an interview with the News Tribune Opinion page last week. "The need is sure there."

Flooded furnaces won't throw heat this winter. Soaked mattresses need to be replaced. Soiled carpeting, wallboards and more have to be ripped out before mold starts growing. Couches and clothes have to be tossed. If it was floating, chances are it'll have to go, with new things needed in place of the destroyed.

And with little or no insurance to help. Whoever dreamed flood insurance might be needed in Duluth? We're on a hillside, for crying out loud.

So donate, and do so without fear of your money going to cover administrative or other costs rather than to the people who really need it.

"We're not taking any fees," Reed promised. "One hundred percent of everything that comes in to that fund will go to the people in need. There are no administrative or other fees, as far as I'm concerned."

Who gets the money and how much will be determined by a long-term recovery group with representation from volunteer agencies and other groups from across the Twin Ports.

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A major federal disaster declaration announced Friday for 13 Minnesota counties and three tribal nations will help bring much-needed federal relief money, millions of dollars, even. But it won't be enough. Any one of us who is able to help is needed to help.

The need is great. The goal is ambitious. But not out of reach. Not for this community.

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