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Neighbor to Neighbor group established

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A new community service organization named Neighbor to Neighbor has formed. This organization is a transformed version of the Wadena/Otter Tail Long Term Recovery Committee, which quietly disbanded last week.

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In its 23-month history, the recovery committee raised more than $800,000, accomplished more than $2 million in repair work, contributed tens of thousands of volunteer hours, and assisted more than 190 families in recovering from the tornado devastation of June 2010.

"So much strong and constructive public energy has existed within the workings of this recovery committee, it would have been a tragedy to allow it to disband and fade into history," stated a press release from the recovery committee. "Thus, the group has decided to become a force for positive progress and neighborly encouragement wherever it is needed."

Neighbor to Neighbor will be an ongoing volunteer-based nonprofit service. The group will conduct fundraising events and gather resources and volunteers to help individuals and organizations deal with unmet needs in Otter Tail, Wadena, and Todd counties.

The mission of this new organization states: "With a spirit of transparency, accountability and collaboration, our goal is to strengthen the health and hope of our regional community."

Neighbor to Neighbor will develop a system of collaboration with several entities, including the Mahube-Otwa Community Action Partnership, all three county social service teams, and the area's ministerial alliance groups, to establish an orderly process of identifying needs while avoiding duplication of services.

Examples might include assisting families after a fire, helping someone overcome effects of an illness that would otherwise render him or her as a shut-in, or providing transportation for someone who cannot afford a new or repaired vehicle following an accident.

Neighbor to Neighbor is seeking members from all communities in the region to step forward and join.

The committee will meet monthly in the lower level of The Arts Place, at 114 Jefferson Street in Wadena. Initial committee members include Pastor Del Moen, Alan Lynk, Ann Pate, Jeanette Baymler, David Evert and Barb Butler. The next meeting will be Wed., Oct. 17 at 10 a.m.

There will be a closing remembrance ceremony for the disbanded long-term recovery committee on Sunday, Oct. 14 at Sunnybrook Park in Wadena at 1:30 p.m.

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