Times are tough, but Minnesotans are tougher. In the face of adversity, we come together to care for our neighbors and find solutions. That Minnesota grit helped the University of Minnesota and the Mayo Clinic reach a major testing breakthrough, and motivates them to keep working on new innovations to keep us healthy and safe.
But you don’t have to be an expert in biochemistry to do something amazing for your community. Across the state, Minnesotans are stepping up to the plate however they can. Here are just a few inspiring stories of Minnesotans working to help each other.
Minnesotans living in congregate facilities like nursing homes and homeless shelters are at an increased risk of contracting COVID-19, but wearing a mask can significantly reduce your chances of infecting others. That’s why Governor Tim Walz and Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan called on Minnesotans to bust out the sewing machines for a statewide mask drive in April.
Minnesotans delivered, and made a whopping 137,430 masks to be distributed at congregate living facilities around the state. This simple act of kindness will help protect our most vulnerable Minnesotans and the people who care for them.
We just got the final count and Minnesotans donated 137,430+ masks during our drive. Special shout out to Altura, MN, which donated nearly as many masks as it has residents. We couldn’t have done this without our fire stations, every single one of which participated. Awesome. pic.twitter.com/MGdC1fbWcf
— Governor Tim Walz (@GovTimWalz) April 29, 2020
A different kind of brew
Minnesota’s craft distilleries are helping us get through this pandemic, and I’m not just talking about a Norseman gin and tonic after a long day of Zoom meetings. With disinfectants in high demand, distillers around the state are responding by using their facilities and supplies to make hand sanitizer. Tattersall Distilling in Minneapolis donated 50 gallons of hand sanitizer to local seniors, and a coalition of distilleries is working to get sanitizer out to organizations that need it most. You can support their efforts here.
What do an Owatonna packaging company and a crew of high school robotics enthusiasts have in common? They’re stepping up to make much-needed protective equipment for Minnesota’s first responders.
From New Brighton to Warroad, high school students are using their passion for engineering to protect our health care professionals, creating thousands of 3D-printed face shields, visors, and ear savers. Minnesota manufacturers are doing their part too. Companies that specialize in plastics are quickly shifting their focus and working together to produce face shields for our hospitals. This just shows how all Minnesotans can use their unique skills and talents to make a difference.
Rock and roll is alive, and it lives in Minnesota
Minnesota is rich with art, music, and culture, but creators and performers are getting hit hard by this crisis. Luckily, here in Minnesota, we’ve got our artists’ backs. The Twin Cities Music Community Trust offers relief to performers, bartenders, security staff, and other workers who have lost critical income because of COVID-19. In Rochester, local radio DJs created a virtual tip jar to benefit Southeast Minnesota’s entertainers, tattoo artists, and service industry workers.
Meals for families
No school means no school lunches. That’s why Minnesotans are stepping up to make sure our kids and families still get a nutritious meal every day. School districts in cities like St. Paul and St. Cloud are providing meal pickups and deliveries for families in need, and several Minnesota restaurants are offering free sack lunches for kids.
And that’s not all
Every day, Minnesotans are finding more inspiring ways to support each other through this pandemic. Know a Minnesotan who’s doing something amazing for their community? Give them a shout out! Let us know about them on Facebook and Twitter.
Together, we’ll persevere through this crisis, because that’s what Minnesotans do.