Delivering gratitude and a surprise

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The staff of United Way of Goodhue, Wabasha & Pierce Counties made 80 deliveries the week of April 23-29 to local volunteers who go above and beyond. Each volunteer received a take-out box with a note saying, "Thank You! We are so FORTUNATE to have you!" Each box contained fortune cookies with custom sayings such as "Happy National Volunteer Week" and "Thanks for all you do!"

"National Volunteer Week is the perfect time to celebrate and recognize so many of the people who donate countless hours to help us achieve our mission and goals," said Maureen Nelson, executive director. "We fight tirelessly for the economic mobility, education and health of all members of our community. It's a big job, and it simply would not be possible without volunteers."

Year after year, volunteers help the United Way raise awareness of poverty and bring real change to public policy. Volunteers serve on the board and seek out and tackle big issues facing Goodhue, Wabasha and Pierce counties. Volunteers review funding applications and invest funds back into the community. Volunteers serve food to kids for the summer food program. Volunteers donate food and stuff bags for the Packing for the Weekend program. Volunteers also go into the office to help with everything from labeling and sorting to mailings and cleaning.

"We wanted to say a big, heartfelt thank you to our volunteers, and this was a fun way to do just that," said Sarah Lindner, volunteer and donor relations manager. "The work they do matters, and they truly make a difference in our community."