Volunteers step up to help North Side tornado victims

There’s been a strong outpouring of community support for North Minneapolis since the devastating May 22 tornado.

As of June 3, $780,000 had been raised for the Minnesota Helps–North Minneapolis Recovery Fund — an amount including a $200,000 match contribution to individual donations from the Greater Twin Cities United Way and the Minneapolis Foundation. Donations are being collected at GiveMN.org.

Several benefits have also been organized to help raise money to rebuild the neighborhoods ripped up by the twister. A concert June 12 at the State Theater featured many local musicians, including Brother Ali, Sounds of Blackness, Soul Asylum and Sara Renner, among many others.

Renner, a North Side homeowner, said: “I believe it is a powerful statement for those of us who benefited from North Side churches, schools, programs and people to now partner with those outside our North Side borders to help rebuild and recover from this disaster.”

Another benefit concert for tornado victims featuring Mick Sterling and many other local musicians was held at Famous Dave’s in Calhoun Square on June 5. The Dakota also hosted a benefit June 7.

The Gorilla Yogis, a group that organizes monthly yoga gatherings for charitable causes, held a “Twist for the Twister” outdoor yoga benefit in Bryn Mawr Park on June 5. The group collected cash donations and non-perishable food items.

Thousands of volunteers have also worked to clear tree debris from the North Side. As of June 2, 4,424 dump truck loads of tree debris had been cleared from the area, according to city officials. A massive cleanup day was also organized by the city on June 4 to clear away more debris. About 2,000 volunteers were recruited for that event.

The American Red Cross has also been active in relief work. The local chapter set up a shelter for people left homeless by the storm at the Northeast Armory and North Commons Community Center. As of early June, the Red Cross has had more than 300 disaster responders helping people. The organization has also distributed more than 60,000 snacks and meals.

For more information on recovery efforts on the North Side, go to ci.minneapolis.mn.us and click on “Minneapolis Recovers.”