Dakota Store to host Volunteer Appreciation event in Jamestown – Jamestown Sun

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JAMESTOWN — In celebration of its nearly 20 years of service, the Dakota Store in Jamestown is hosting a Volunteer Appreciation event on Friday, March 15.

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“We welcome the more than 200 registered guests at a blood drive or delivered meals for Daily Bread, those contributions improved life in our community,” said Deb Lee, Dakota Store manager and volunteer coordinator.

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Though the Dakota Store’s permanent location will close this month, the store will continue to operate this summer at Frontier Village. The Volunteer Appreciation event is to celebrate those years and the contributions to the community.

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The Dakota Store originated as a funding mechanism for RSVP and Serve YES! Each jam, jelly and package of popcorn supported volunteer efforts in the community. The purpose of those organizations was to pair volunteers age 55-plus with nonprofits that need assistance.

“We did that because it was good for the community and good for the volunteers. Volunteers age 55-plus have special gifts, talents and experience. Plus, anyone who volunteers knows how good it feels, how valuable it is for the body and soul,” Lee said.

Today, Dakota Store sells all North Dakota products from 82 North Dakota companies and 50 North Dakota authors. The store partnered with the AAUW Used Bookstore in 2017.

Originally, RSVP and Serve YES! received federal funding and served a nine-county area. Today, all proceeds come from the Dakota Store and all volunteer efforts support Jamestown nonprofits. Collectively, more than 500 volunteers donated thousands of hours of time, Lee said.

Of the projects, Lee said she is most proud of sustaining the Daily Bread-Jamestown program. The Daily Bread program fills community freezers with meals that would otherwise go to waste. Restaurants and commercial kitchens can donate their leftovers to the program. Daily Bread volunteers collect the leftovers and store them in freezers located in public areas of the community. Those eight refrigerators are placed at the Gardenette, St. John’s Lutheran Church, James River Senior Center, four elementary schools and Jamestown Middle School.

Lee is also proud of the Baskets, Bags and Bubbly (BBB) event. The event raised about $30,000 every year for volunteer efforts. The legacy of that event will live on as today, proceeds support women’s health and cancer efforts.

Deb has always been a tireless pioneer for the community,” said Tara Kapp, who now co-chairs the event. “ The dedication she put into starting and sustaining BBB is simply incredible and she brushes off any attempts at recognizing her for that dedication. Jamestown wouldn’t be what it is today without the Deb Lee — period.”

The Daily Bread program and the BBB event will continue even after the Dakota Store closes its permanent location on March 31.

“In celebration of our years of service and all the volunteer efforts, we welcome volunteers and friends to our Volunteer Appreciation on Friday, March 15,” She said.

The event is from 1 to 2:30 p.m. and is open to the public. There is no charge for admission.

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