As a co-op, we’re dedicated to caring for our communities (one of the 7 co-op principles). We show our care for the communities our stores serve through programs like Round Up, which lets our shoppers choose to round up their grocery bill to the nearest dollar to donate to a local non-profit organization. Occasionally, we also show our dedication to caring for our communities through volunteer opportunities for our staff. The past two weekends, we’ve been fortunate enough to reconnect with some past Round Up recipients and volunteer further with them.
Wilderness Inquiry was our Round Up recipient in June 2017, and shoppers donated $11,118.57 to their Canoemobile outdoor education program. Canoemobile is a “floating classroom” that brings students out on local waterways in 24-foot Voyageur canoes to learn about science, history, geography, and culture. On Saturday, Sept. 14, Lakewinds participated in the Great River Race, a fundraiser for Canoemobile, and paddled one of those Voyager canoes with nine Lakewinds staff and one Wilderness Inquiry guide. It took us a little bit to get our paddling in sync and find our stride, but soon we were laughing and cheering each other on, passing and (only a few times) getting passed by other canoes. We had so much FUN, and placed 12th of 29 teams!
In May 2019, Lakewinds shoppers rounded up $15,928.99 for Tree Trust, which was used to fund a public tree planting event at Veteran’s Park near our Richfield store. On Saturday, Sept. 21, Lakewinds volunteers joined others from the surrounding communities to plant more than 60 trees and help revitalize green spaces in our area. It was perfect tree planting weather, and we learned to plant trees “the Tree Trust way” so they can grow tall, healthy, and strong for future generations to enjoy. Roughly 40 people of all ages came together to beautify a local park, an event that was made possible by the generosity of Lakewinds shoppers.
By reconnecting with past Round Up recipients in this way, we’re able to really show our support for local non-profits doing important work in our communities. Seeing how the funds donated by our shoppers were used and participating in bringing those projects to life is a rewarding and fun way we serve our community and connect with each other.